The Future Of Sustainability Campaigns

  • 2 months ago
  • 5 Minutes to Read
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Enviral has officially landed in the capital, and to celebrate, we hosted our first-ever London event in partnership with our B Corp friends at Fanclub PR.

Thank you to everyone who braved the drizzly winter weather and joined us in the heart of Soho in the unique venue, All is Joy. A space with creativity in its bones, established in 1947, the venue has housed major artists like Queen and The Rolling Stones, and in February 2024… we got to host our event there!

The event brought together some incredible thought leaders from Finisterre, Oatly, Who Gives A Crap, OceanSaver, Hitachi and Material Focus. These forward-thinking brands are leading the way in using creative campaigns, storytelling and brand activations to engage their audience in sustainability.

Enviral’s Account Director, Chloe Tuck, hosted the first panel where we heard from Micah, Shaunagh and Nathan, who shared the latest trends and strategies in sustainability campaigns.

Meet the speakers

Micah Douglas from OceanSaver 

Micah Douglas is a passionate FMCG Marketer and Brand Manager at OceanSaver. OceanSaver create non-toxic, plant-based cleaning products and refills. They’re on a mission to save ocean life from plastic pollution and harmful chemicals. Micah draws from his three years of experience at Tony’s Chocolonely and uses his skills in storytelling and creativity to support Ocean Saver in creating behaviour change, using their cleaning products and refill service to change behaviour and clean up the cleaning aisle.

Micah spoke to the audience about OceanSaver’s goal of putting the ocean at the top of the agenda. Using their cleaning products to remind their customers that the ocean must be front and centre. Micah stressed the importance of using simple and inclusive language within their messaging to bring everyone along on their journey. This is something that many sustainable brands are overcomplicating, creating barriers to entry and resulting in a disengaged audience and leaving customers behind. 

Nathan Hatch from Hitachi

Nathan Hatch leads global marketing and communications for Hitachi ZeroCarbon, a business helping fleets decarbonise and transition to electric through digital optimisation. When it comes to sustainability campaigns, he is passionate about simplifying complex and technical information to educate and inspire target audiences no matter where they are on their decarbonisation journey.

Although Hitachi ZeroCarbon operates in a very different space to OceanSaver, Nathan agreed with Micah’s point on using simple language. Hitachi ZeroCarbon operates within the B2B space and often uses complex terminology relating to energy transition and data. Whether you’re speaking to another business or a consumer, it’s important to remember your audience is a person, and you must use the right language to connect with that person. Nathan spoke about the work the strategists at Enviral have done to support HitachiZeroCarbon with their messaging. Nathan touched upon the importance of gaining trust and building relationships within your organisation and also with your agency. Understand the balance of when you can be bold and push on certain things and when you need to play it a little safer.

Shaunagh Duncan from Oatly

Shaunagh Duncan is the Head of Sustainability at Oatly for Europe and International Markets. Oatly’s mission is to make it easier for people to eat better without recklessly tackling our planet’s resources – so sustainability is one of the company’s core values. Shaunagh has extensive experience in sustainability and joined Oatly in April 2021. Before that, she worked as Global Head of Sustainability for renewable energy company Bulb. Shaunagh has a Masters in Sustainability Engineering and completed an MBA in 2023.

In 2015, Oatly went through a rebrand, and during this period, the entire marketing department was overhauled. Shaunagh explained that the entire restructuring was about being bold and not having ideas watered down. Conversations between the marketing and creative department transitioned from ‘Can we say that?’ to ‘Can we go bigger?’ Shaunagh mentioned that if purpose-driven brands are going to ‘change the world’, which many claim they will, then we need to increase the recognition of bold conversations and face uncomfortable truths. 

Check out the video below to hear from our panel host, Chloe Tuck.

Do Gooders Screening and Insights with Emmanuella Blake Morsi

Following our panel, we shared a screening of Do Gooders, a behind-the-scenes documentary that follows the creation of
Greenpeace’s ‘Big Plastic Count’ campaign. The short film follows our journey as we go from pitch to delivery in shaping a campaign that resulted in the biggest-ever investigation into UK household plastic! You can watch the film by clicking on this link.

Greenpeace launched ‘The Big Plastic Count‘ campaign in 2022. The initiative engaged nearly 250,000 participants in a citizen science-led effort to tally plastic packaging discarded over one week. Results showed that almost two billion pieces of plastic packaging are discarded weekly. This data was leveraged to advocate for policy changes and raise awareness about the issue.

The campaign was an immense success in engaging a diverse range of UK households to take part. Much of that success is thanks to Emmanuella, Enviral’s Production and Partnership Manager.

Emmanuella took to the stage to share some key insights on how to create impactful, inclusive campaigns.

Being inclusive requires thinking outside of the box. To bring people on the journey, you have to be creative. During The Big Plastic Count shoot, it was the personal details that mattered, and in one of the scenes featuring a South Asian Grandmother, we included real-life family photos in the background on set. This added a layer of authenticity to our work, and this human touch allowed our cast to see themselves tangibly and able to contribute meaningfully. 

On that note, if authenticity is a key driver in impactful change, then you need to think about how you will achieve that. What partners are you going to bring on board? Is your crew diverse? Can you go bigger and bolder with your message?

Emmanuella asked the question, how can we reimagine the world and scale new thinking without including important voices within the space? Equity needs to be the core focus of how you operate. To do this, we must ensure all voices are heard and included. This is imperative to making change. 

Our 5 Key Takeaways

  • Be provocative – Have the awkward conversations. If something feels uncomfortable, you should step into the authenticity and be bold.
  • Be bold – Express the values of your brand, if you work in sustainability, then you’re likely very passionate about the work you do (or at least we hope you are!) Use this passion to drive significant change in your campaigns.
  • Everything starts with the creative – When creating sustainability campaigns, consider the design that will bring people on board and excite them to join your journey. Your role is to sell the emotion so your audience understands why they should care about your values and mission.
  • Build trust – A relationship of trust needs to be built not only with your internal team but also with your audience.
  • Greenhushing is as dangerous as Greenwashing – There can be a lot of fear around not saying or doing the right thing, but not speaking up can be just as damaging. We are all at different stages of the journey, but if you’re transparent about where you’re at, audiences will respond much more positively than to silence. If you’d like to learn more about the five shades of Greenwash, you can read our blog here

Fanclub PR panel 

We rounded off the evening with Fanclub PR’s panel ‘Is Sustainability too complicated for people to care about?’. Fanclub’s Founder Adrian was in great company with Kate Hinton from Material Focus, Lawrence Stafford from Finisterre and David Titman from Who Gives a Crap all offering their insight on the challenges that come with working in sustainability. There were some excellent conversations around brand accountability, engaging your audience effectively and the importance of driving systemic change. 

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If you want to get in contact with us, especially about how we can help you communicate your environmental campaigns in a truly authentic way, then reach out to us here.

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