September 2016 will see The Student Energy Project launching its energy saving campaign across universities and private student housing companies for the third consecutive year running. 2015/16 saw it operating in 17 residences across the UK and was the first year we opened up the project to universities urgently seeking a solution to modify their students’ behaviour in energy consumption and the impact they’re having on the environment.

3 years in and we have learnt a lot. With every turn of discovery comes another complexity to the enigma of what makes students sit up and take notice to a seemingly stark statement that’s being screamed by scientists on a daily basis: We are the last generation that can fight climate change and make a difference for future generations to come. We have a duty to act. If we don’t, we risk the global temperatures rising above the dangerous threshold of 2 degrees Celsius . We are the last generation that can take steps to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.

However, whilst the rhetoric of doom continues to fill even the deepest crevices, the world seems to be ploughing naively on.

Action must be sought and at TSEP, we have focused on the fresh minds of Generation Y. Talking in a language they understand of digital and electronic technology, TSEP visualises students’ consumption in their halls of residence and incentivises them to become better energy and environmental users - watch our video here.

“What’s in it for me” guides TSEP’s every thought and all engagement activities have been designed with the students at heart. One of the keys to successfully engaging the students is to not jump to conclusions. Gone are the days where a student profile was made up of an out-of-pocket, beans on toast eating, party til’ 6am and complete assignments at the very last second type of individual, (although, don’t fear, there’s some left that still exist). Students are dynamic, versatile beings who more than ever are seeking to establish their own identify at this crucial time in their lives and are susceptible to new ideas and ways of thinking.

So at TSEP we are striking whilst the iron is hot and combining not only financial carrots, but opportunities for the students to learn and be inspired about all of the great things that exist around the issues of sustainability. Instead of relying on scare mongering, we are celebrating all the opportunities that exist for the students to get involved and become informed in an issue that is showing no signs of going away.

Whether it be reading an article or a blog on current affairs linked to sustainability, educating them in how many kWhs you could actually save if you boiled only the right amount of water or facilitating volunteering opportunities with national leading organisations in the environment, we believe we are tailoring the message to all of the student population. After all, isn’t that the point?