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A cooperative social enterprise aiming to promote eco-nightlife in London

MA 2023
Nightlife, Environmental Sustainability, Hospitality, Community, Initiatives

EVE is a cooperative social enterprise aiming to promote and propel sustainable practices in the hospitality sector by creating visibility of better choices and actions through our platform and putting people, planet, and purpose before profit. EVE delivers as an environmental accreditor, by recognising and running initiatives to constantly improve industry practices collectively, a digital marketplace to connect eco-conscious customers to EVE-verified businesses, and a rewards program to reinforce choices.

Our project aimed to bring environmental value into the economic and social value exchanges of a night out, to create visibility for environmentalism within nightlife, and to make sustainability mainstream and fun. As change comes from the community, we wanted to convene and empower a collaborative community to want better and lobby for change, whilst ensuring the progression to a more sustainable and ethical hospitality industry.


This project was created in collaboration with Accenture song. They guided us in the scoping of new and innovative ways of engaging with environmentalism and sustainability within the entertainment and leisure industry. Our topic focused on the hospitality industry and we collaborated with numerous bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes in Kensington, Kings Cross and Farringdon to gain crucial insights and understanding of their challenges. We were also supported by multiple participants who shared their stories and experiences and validated our concepts. At the end of the semester, we presented to the partners who saw great value in the service.


This project was a two-month speculative design journey into the perspective opportunities in connecting our nightlife in London with climate action. This project aimed to find creative ways to make partying contribute to the global effort to combat climate change.

The original brief was to see how we may use the things we do for entertainment and leisure as platforms for making sustainability mainstream. We were intrigued by this proposition in which the problem was so large (making sustainability mainstream) yet not commonly connected with entertainment and leisure (tourism, music, etc). Furthermore, the definitions of both sustainability and entertainment and leisure are ambiguous in that they both have many different definitions. This meant we needed a level of inference as designers to tackle this brief, by first redefining the brief and by finding our purpose within it. Our revised brief being -

To discover and create a new service proposition that brings together London’s party life and environmental concern. The output should allow Londoners to enjoy the escapisms of partying, protest the lack of climate action, and deliver real-time environmental value.


We chartered the user journey, stories from nights out, and the key touchpoints throughout in order to find common habits and rituals between London party-goers. We also analysed the economic, social and political context surrounding London and its party scene. This culminated in a challenge typology compartmentalising key insights into:

  • The conditions of the nightlife landscape, these being industrial, social, economic, political etc,
  • Challenges of nightlife participants with the inability to properly engage with the people who act in the space, from the consumer to employees.
  • Underlying issues of designing within the space, things like demand for interventions, design maturity and service fit.

The challenges were plentiful and layered. The more we uncovered the more challenging it became to find a key insight that we could work with and deliver value to the area.

There was a lack of existing design work being taken to tackle the issues of nightlife and environmental sustainability. Priorities in issues of safety took precedence.

To make a difference and deliver an output, we had to carve out an idea using opportunities rather than overcoming problems. We started to bring together opportunities to see what theory of change may yield the most reception. The key is that we had to bring something new to the market, something more radical, to deliver environmental value in nightlife.


When considering the landscape, our challenge in creating positive environmental value existed in the existential threats to the space but little demand for environmental initiatives.

When considering behaviours, our challenge in creating positive environmental value existed in the behavioural paradox, entrenched rituals, and little collective consciousness of the connection between nightlife and the environment.

When considering design, our challenge in creating positive environmental value existed in the beneficiary not being the primary user and the limited precedence of interventions to tackle similar problems.

In many ways, the value of this project was not in outputs but in the process. It is a dive into the fringes of service design thinking, methods and outputs - a space that does not deal with enhancing, overcoming or mitigating but with creating newness. The design interventions rather than being something dependable on an existing infrastructure whether that's industrial, psychological, sociological and so on, could be an intervention which creates new means of being - ‘cultural shifts’ ‘new thinking’ - a work of artistry or invention. In essence, we just had an aim and a goal. To not per se design an intervention, but imagine an intervention with a design mind. Playing around with this question:

How can we, as service designers, be tastemakers by creating in the space between environmentalism and our nightlife? Even, how might we create a cultural movement that marries our party life with our climate action?


Through trial and development, we outlined 3 major insights and learnings to take forward when creating a holistic service for the nightlife and hospitality industry:

  • Incentivise actions and decisions to train newer habits
  • Community initiative interest requires a platform for change
  • Passive action and minor changes

In order to influence sustainable behaviours, we had to also consider the landscape in which these behaviours take place. Therefore, there was an opportunity to allow both members to thrive, in a better way.

Through changes in behaviour, we can choose better,

Through changes in the landscape, we can support better,

Consequently, this will cause everyone to change for the better.

There are plenty of social and economic value exchanges within hospitality – card transactions for rounds of drinks, peer pressure, or the nostalgia felt from singing Sweet Caroline with local strangers. Our hypothesis to create ‘change for the better’ was to hijack these moments and leverage industry relationships to bring environmental value into the social and economic value exchange of a night out. Our aim to do this was by decreasing the barrier of sustainable choice, making it easy for people to engage, and helping all stakeholders realise the impact of their actions.


EVE delivers as an environmental accreditor, by recognising and running initiatives to constantly improve industry practices collectively, a digital marketplace to connect eco-conscious customers to EVE-verified businesses, and a rewards program to incentivise and reinforce choices.

Mobile-first, customers engage through digital touchpoints on the front end – a social media presence for promotion and reach, an app for customer engagements such as venue discovery or reward collection, and third-party integration into other applications, such as a digital wallet or maps service to allow for passive engagements and data capture. No matter how engaged the customer wants to be there are different options available. Designing mobile-first reflected the rituals and habits discovered from our journey mapping at the beginning of the project.

On the back end, hospitality businesses engage with our sustainable practices and initiatives, individual or community-based, that help improve their sustainability credentials. EVE also recognises and accredits other third-party services that are striving to become more eco-friendly e.g., “Too Good To Go” restaurants.

Like many competitors in this space that are focused towards our demographic, we deliver social and economic value to the customer and drive customers to the businesses. However, with a gap in the market for a service that is environmentally and community-driven, this became our USP. Taking inspiration from these existing services, we wanted to include features that currently work well, are viable, and are desirable for our audience, whom we consider a right mix of environmental steward and socially green; people who may be activists during the day but also the life of the party at night - the people who need that social release, but also experience guilt and anxiety about going out while we’re in a climate crisis. EVE helps them to not feel guilty about expressing themselves by simply helping them party, better.

Our vision is to create visibility for environmentalism within the nightlife industry and to make sustainability mainstream and fun, creating environmental benefits in a space that has disregarded the planet for so long. EVE aims to do this by creating better industry practices, influencing customers to make better choices to gradually change consumption patterns, all the while future-proofing smaller and independent businesses to whatever challenges arise in society, enabling nightlife as a whole to continue to thrive in a better way and bring joy to everyone involved.


We would like to thank everyone who has participated and supported us throughout the process. We appreciate the time taken by the wonderful people at The Racketeer (Kings Cross), Russell Davies, Felix, Matt, Marco and everyone else who share their insights with us. We thank our peers for their constant moral support. And last but not the least, our Tutor, John Makepeace for guiding us through this turmoil of thoughts, frustrations and discovery.

This project is bigger than the solution itself as it provided us with a newfound understanding of services and our roles in creating and facilitating them.

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