Business Planning for Bristol City Council’s ELENA programme

October 10th, 2013 by

Assisting Bristol City Council to plan the structure and delivery of multi-million pound programme of energy efficiency and renewable measures in the city, through a series of business planning workshops.


Bristol City Council


January 2012 – August 2013

What was the project about?

In January 2012 Bristol City Council received a grant of £2.5million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) towards the costs of developing an Energy Services Company and investment programme. This assistance, given under the European Local Energy Assistance Programme enabled the council to plan the delivery of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects up to £140million.

Since February 2012 we have been working with the council to facilitate a series of four business planning workshops to examine how this programme will be structured, integrated with the council’s existing activities and rolled out.

Facilitation Group Exercise

How we approached this

The first challenge was to come up with a process which would allow a large team of staff, some of whom hadn’t worked together before to consider the options for structuring and delivering the ELENA programme. ELENA comprises multiple, concurrent, work strands to be completed in the next three years.

We decided to do this using giant wall planners which allowed teams to work in groups and consider each strand in terms of resources, lead-in times, and procurement. This approach also allows teams to highlight other issues and plan the best ways of organizing staff and managing teams.

Having completed this process with project teams we were able to produce a report with recommendations drawn from the workshop and to turn the paper outputs into electronic project plans which could be shared and developed further.

Recently we have been working with the project team on the more detailed issues around the delivery of this programme and how best to communicate and present what is happening to a wider audience.


The work from these four workshops has fed into the project plan for the ELENA programme being used by the team.


  • Giant project planners for the team to use.
  • Detailed project plans in Excel and MS Project.
  • Reports on the findings and conclusions of the workshops.
Written by

Environmental consultant, facilitator, founder & Director of Climate Works Ltd.