Green ambassadors want to strengthen cooperation across the housing associations

Residents from the housing associations GAB, NAB and Danbo participated in “Green Ambassador” training at EUC Syd. Knowledge, strengthened cooperation and motivation must inspire other residents to climate actions and participation.

In mid-November 2020 more than 20 expectant residents and employees from the housing associations GAB, NAB and Danbo participated in the Green Ambassador course at EUC Syd in Sønderborg. They will be green ambassadors for their housing association to promote the green profile.

As partners in the EU project “Happi” all 6 housing associations in the Sønderborg area, are in the process of energy renovating some of their buildings, in order to help support Sønderborg’s climate goals for 2029.

The course is the second in a series of Green Ambassador courses for the housing associations in the area.

Ambassadors, Sofie Nissen, Hans Erik Johansen, Birgit Fravsbøl, Morten Thomsen og Kaj Lindblad, alle fra NAB
Lots of great ideas for future ventures

After almost four hours of training, one goal was clearly on their list of ideas: They want to strengthen cooperation not only in their housing association, but also across the area’s housing associations. For example, the participants discussed joint purchases of LED lamps. This saves money and at the same time reduces CO2 emissions, due to less driving, etc. The green ambassadors also want joint sparring via courses / events, such as. visits to incinerators or solar plants.

The ambassadors’ green agenda also includes the need to transform common areas into habitats for bees and insects. Maybe one can find grant opportunities to promote biodiversity? And when there is a flowering lawn, how about several benches and tables to be able to enjoy the view over a cup of coffee with the neighbours? Some participants suggested an action plan, to maintain motivation

How do you influence the behaviour of others?

Participants agreed that it is a huge task to motivate fellow residents to a greener behavior, to save energy and resources whether it is electricity, heat or water. As an example, they mentioned the waste sorting in the respective departments, which after many years still does not work optimally. It is about offering fellow residents something that “makes sense”, maybe the ambassadors could arrange something that makes fellow residents curious about participating in joint activities?

Ambassadors must also know what their tasks are. They must not be policemen but motivators; a huge task, but it can be conducted, with the other green ambassadors and with help from the administration. In this way, the organization, the department boards and the ambassadors will also be more closely linked. They also need to clarify who they want to work with and know what to do.

“The residents need ownership. When the neighbor sees how I do things, it may be easier to follow suit” said one participant.


By. Ruth Nielsen
Photos: Ruth Nielsen