Bringing the public with you

Public engagement

Having spent much of the earlier part of last week basking in the unseasonably warm weather, we were brought back to Earth with a bump today as we read the news that public awareness of low emissions zones is relatively poor. In recent research, 57% of adults did not know what a Low Emission Zone was, an amazing finding considering that many cities are planning to implement them. This reflects a previous poll that 4 in 10 small businesses were unaware that they are being delivered.

To the likes of us who work each day in environmental issues, such figures are not surprising. We get the feeling that whilst the general public knows that air and noise pollution are issues, and maybe know that they are important issues, they do not necessarily know what is being done about it. Perhaps they don’t even care?

Regardless, any policy delivered by national or local government needs to bring people along with it, not to ensure that it is accepted by those people, but to ensure that it is effective. Communities can be the ‘eyes and ears’ of policies being delivered on the ground, but also if you harness their energy and enthusiasm, they can help you deliver it also.

This is part of the reason why we are building our platform not just with decision makers in mind, but also with communities. Operations managers are then free to share the data that they have with issues that are reported, should they so wish to do so, so that they can have a conversation with local communities on how to overcome these issues as they arise.

The benefits of doing so are not just about having good community relations. It’s about making them feel valued. As former logistics managers ourselves, the value of doing that should never be underestimated!