Tag: environment

The very best charity marketing from 2014

The very best charity marketing from 2014

With so many amazing campaigns, it’s tough selecting the most innovative charity ads of the year. This is encouraging for the charity sector, even though it’s harder and harder for normal people to navigate through the various causes and lend their support.

Charities (and I guess their marketing agencies), have long understood that creating some kind of fame often increases share of mind and this hopefully leads to more support. Charities are often challenged by gaining the resources to support a new campaign. A strong business case helps, and entering the campaign into charity awards can fast track this. The campaign gets profiled in the brochure, 500 marketing folk hear about the charity and better still, if it wins, then profile pieces will be written. The charity may even become the agency’s charity of the year.

First up: NSPCC: ‘The underwear rule’

The underwear rule is a fantastic insight. It is a campaign devised by the NSPCC that provides a simple way to help parents keep their children safe from abuse. It’s simple for both parents and children to understand. This film perfectly captures the right tone and call to action. Well done to NSPCC.

Second place: CRUK ‘Play to cure’

What a great excuse to play a good game, when at the same time you’re helping Cancer Research UK’s scientists identify the DNA faults that could lead to cancer. Well done CRUK – lateral thinking at its best.

Third: Greenpeace ‘Tell Lego to dump Shell’

It’s good to see Greenpeace in action (and succeeding in stopping the Lego Shell partnership!)  Keep up the great campaigning work. Without Greenpeace, life would be much less interesting (and less organisations would be kept in check).

Fourth: Barnardo’s ‘The Nation’s Fridge Door’

Just love Barnardo’s virtual fridge, based on the idea that we all like to share our children’s pictures of robins and pirates, but not all children have parents who care. In every family’s household the fridge door is a symbol of a parent’s pride and support of their children’s achievements. Yet the UK’s most vulnerable children don’t have anyone to give them this support or record their successes.

That’s why Barnardo’s is asking people to turn the support they give their own children into the support for the children who have nobody. The drawings sent in by families were published on their virtual fridge, and a selected few were published in The Guardian and in Barnardo’s stores.

Fifth: Breast Cancer Awareness ‘Fitness Bra Cam’

Breast Cancer Awareness have done so much to change the tone of the issue – brightening it up and making it more accessible. This campaign is a perfect example of this.  In partnership with big companies, who helped them deliver a truly funny (and slightly awkward!) entrapment film!

Some new fame is worth having and these are great examples of charities taking risks but keeping their cause at the heart of the delivery. Well done to all and Happy New Year 2015.

Nature-Green-New-Year-Wallpapers-300x200

5 ideas to help charities and the environment over the summer

things to do in august

 

As charity experts we care about our surroundings and the environment, even when we go on summer holidays! And we always like to learn. Some of us have children, like Giles our managing director, and others not, like myself.

There are many things we can do on holiday, here‘s a list of the things we can do during our holidays, wherever we go to the beach, up a mountain or stay at home:

1. Giles cycles every morning to work, why not leave your car at home and cycle instead? Save 1.5 pounds of carbon dioxide for each mile and 240 calories saved (or lost!) per hour. This is a good way to work off all the extra ice cream you eat this summer! As our friends at cycle for summer say you ‘Feel Happier: it is scientifically proven’

2. There are plenty of delicious locally produced fruits and vegetables available this summer. Choose to eat local fruits instead of kiwis and mangos from far-flung exotic countries. The Sustainable Food Trust shows you why it is cheaper, better and how it reveals the type of person you are.

3. If you stay at home for your holidays and decide to have a good house tidy, why not give unwanted clothes, toys or furniture to charities you would like to help. We like clothes for charity who do all the hard work for you, selling your items to raise money for your selected causes and charities.

4. Discover and protect Bugs. As our friends at Buglife describe so well, many things can be done to protect bugs.  Why not build a bee house? You can follow Buglife’s tutorial here and enjoy building a bee house in your garden, it’s lots of fun, and you can observe the bees all year around.

5. If you are healthy and want to feel even healthier, why not donate your blood to NHSBT? Start this Summer and give blood 3 or 4 times a year. My advice: have a big breakfast, give blood and then enjoy a treat, have some crisps or chocolate and a delicious lunch at a restaurant with a friend, who came along with you of course!

Five little things you could do to help charities and the environment. Why not, try at least one thing this Summer, which would help us and our clients too.

There are many ways to give your time, energy and happiness, strength and of course money.  And if you have children, why not start the National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before they’re 11 ¾’, enjoy every moment, as they grow up so fast.

Let us know what you do during your holidays. We would love to see your photos and to improve our knowledge of ways in which we can help charities and the environment.

Whatever you do – we wish you the very best summer 2014!

 

happy holidays

Guanyin listening to the world

The figGuanyin listening to the worldure of Guanyin (short for ‘he who listens to the cries of the world’), chose to stay on earth to help others achieve Buddhahood. It was popularised in AD 550 during the Northern Qi dynasty.

I had a chance encounter with him in The British Museum, quite an easy thing to do with over 8 million objects. This figure got me thinking about how the Internet of Things (IoT) has helped revolutionise marketing for good. The next step we are working on is to create opportunities for people where imagination is free-flow and charities’ work is supported by just thinking about the issues involved.

Charity brands increasingly connect to online communities; in times of crisis and conflict, news can touch people very fast and anywhere, which can be very effective. In many cases this is delivering the charity mission far more effectively.  Back to my chance encounter with Guanyin; we are fascinated by the idea of ‘listening to the cries of the world’ and making this a central part of the IoT.

Supposedly Kevin Ashton invented the IoT, the idea is to be as close to people’s needs and even to anticipate their needs. Equipping objects with identifiers with the ability to transfer data over a network without having the human to human or to computer interaction has so many fascinating social potential. An early precursor was a Coke machine in the early 1980s; programmers connected to the machine over the Internet, checked the status of the machine to determine whether or not there would be a cold drink awaiting them, should they decide to make the trip down to the machine.

There is a world of possibilities with the different platforms. Everyone wants their own community such as Nike’s Community, which goes way beyond selling ‘runners’

The IoT should lead to greater knowledge of audiences, with less wasteful research, qualifying people’s needs. It can also be good for the environment too; British Gas’s Hive app demonstrated this, controlling your thermostat when you are not there.

Explaining how we minimise the threat to the environment or social impacts, as we order our new car, milk bottle or can of Coke is what we have been developing.

Our thinking is also how we ensure ‘imagination’ is maintained and enhanced in this incredible future – not lost by pursing needs based approaches, which we think is the crux of the matter for our clients.

How we harness the power of imagination in our relationship with supporters, Guanyin’s ‘listening to the cries of the world’, is our starting point for this great future, balancing relationship building with effective resource use.

IoT

The Green Deal: Marketing Challenge or Lost Cause?

 

At first glance the Green Deal seems like a great scheme to become involved in. But then why is it that after 9 months and over 70,000 assessments, only 12 homeowners have benefitted from actual changes to their property?

The Green Deal is largely suffering from a miscommunication of ideas and a reluctance to get involved in a scheme which seems to add to personal debt for the sake of none but the environment; that big green thing that so few care to help unless it is mutually beneficial.

The pressing question we must ask now is what can the minds behind the Green Deal do, if anything, to change these misconceptions and remove the growing stigma around their initiative? Many have attempted to answer this question; the All-party parliamentary group for excellence in the built environment determined that the scheme will struggle to succeed “without additional incentives to encourage action”; editor of Business Green James Murray proposed that a partnership with the help to buy scheme could prove beneficial; whereas Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis maintains that the scheme would benefit from several minor changes such as shorter loan repayment lengths and a removal of the assessment fee.

All of these amendments would doubtless attract new interest to the scheme, however all constitute relatively large changes, many of which are not possible for the initiative to take.

It seems the scheme is destined to endure a lengthy struggle towards uncertain success in the future, however would comparatively minor changes help in any way to avoid this?

Could the focus change from the “loan” status of the initiative to the fact that the homeowner’s monthly costs are unlikely to increase in spite of the loan? And furthermore that once loan repayments are fully made monthly energy bills are likely to reduce significantly?

Could it be made clearer that the debt incurred is not personal? Or that the repayments are taken automatically through your energy supplier and so no additional bills will be added to your monthly administration?

The Green Deal has been subjected to a lot of negativity, and many are keen to offer advice about how best to remedy this; with large, policy changing alterations and additions to the benefits already offered. Few seem eager, however, to entertain the idea that the Green Deal has the potential to benefit many as it stands, and may simply need to place a strengthened focus on these benefits, while simultaneously removing some of the focus on factors which property owners may interpret as unattractive.

It seems apparent to me that were the Green Deal Finance Company to implement one or more of the following methods when promoting their scheme, they would receive at least heightened interest, if not participation;

  • A clearer, simpler explanation of exactly what it is they are offering, as offered by many external websites – http://goo.gl/Ru8T5V
  • A stronger focus on the potential benefits for the property owner, as opposed to the environment.
  • A diminished focus on the potentially off-putting elements of the scheme
  • The use of media to flag up the positives of the scheme
  • The provision of greater customer feedback portals, and extensive involvement in the discussion generated.

The scheme undoubtedly has positive and negative aspects, as all schemes do, however what seems both positive and negative for the Green Deal is that each plus point will be deemed negative by some, and each negative point will be deemed positive by others. The Green Deal thus finds itself in the awkward position of being relatively complex in addition to providing varied benefits. Though not a lost cause, it seems a lot needs to be done to move the spotlight from pitfalls to positivity.

2 Degrees Network Award Ceremony

A balmy evening at Lord’s cricket ground was the perfect backdrop for a ceremony and dinner to celebrate the sustainability successes of organisations, large and small. Kim Bailey, Associate Sustainability Practitioner and Giles Robertson Founder and Managing Director of Green Banana Marketing attended the event last week on the 10th of July.

Seeing so many people representing their companies with pride was a joy to witness. The winnerscame from an array of small-impassioned companies showcasing technological advances in energy and water management and even space technology in the case of Arla Foods.  The glitz and glamour of the big companies came in the form of prizewinners, O2, RBS and Sky.

Fabulous food and drink, interesting conversations and a witty comedian made for a super evening.

And now the but ….I joined a networking group, so more facilitated networking and partnering opportunities with this interesting group of guests would be appreciated.

How about a safari style supper – swapping places between courses?

Our lovely client Buglife was keen to share how the invertebrate charity preserves the wildlife that turn the cogs of the planet, but with no name badges and penguin suits, we couldn’t find the people we wanted to speak to.

Martin Chilcott, Chair of 2degrees spoke of the importance of fun and values.

 

Here are Green Banana’s top tips for injecting more of both for next year:

  • Make it snappy – The winners had all chosen songs to collect their trophies by – great idea! How about using them for therather ‘worthy’ entry categories?  Or poems, or film titles.Share – Showcase the way companies are doing business differently to conventional organisations.
  • Shine – Let’s hear the sustainability champions talk.  They will all have a tale to tell.  The case studies should be available on the night.
  • Stars – Funny’s great.  Inspirational is better.  There are some great sustainability talkers out there who make you feel you can reach for the stars not just admire them
  • Fun and Games – laughing at jokes is great.  What’s more fun is interaction – how about using the great Lords’ lawns for after dinner croquet. Or a treasure trail, rather than a quiz?
  • Smart’s great – but comfortable is better and so much more individual, so trust us to turn up looking OK.
  • Variety is the spice – If sustainability is going to be embedded in companies, let’s talk to the unconvinced as well as the converted.  We need a few more finance directors on the guest list.

So a super evening and if we get the chance to meet a few more guests, exchange and share vision and values and have more fun next year – a truly great evening will be had by all.


Building your Brand on and offline our next shortcut seminar

If I say Apple, Colgate, CNN, Coca-Cola, Canon, Volkswagen, people are immediately aware of what it is, where it is from and their degree of “attachment” to the brand or product. But the awareness around these brands has been nurtured, created, developed, and maintained by the companies’ brand strategists. Often with billions of pounds. Though we might not have the budgets in the charity sector, some of the learnings are useful and applied consistently, can be very effective.

Last century, the aim was to build and to develop a strong brand with the public through advertising. Nowadays, with the Internet and ever-tough competition all over the place, organisations need to build their brand’s reputation on and offline, and be as creative as ever to generate maximum interaction.

How do you develop an on and offline strategy that works? Should we talk about the word ‘brand’ for charities, which has only just stopped being a ‘dirty word’? How do we build strong engagement around your brand?

Here are a few examples of brands that have successfully managed both their on and offline strategy over the last few years. No doubt there will be a few surprises with our selection.

The story of Adnams, a small beer producer that is building its brand around communities:

Established in 1872, Adnams, as a “basic” retailer and pub owner, started to build life around its brands by relating its products to its mission and vision.

Adnams created a community around each of its brand. In 1990, it first built the Adnams’ charity to help people living within 25 miles from Southworld. Then it created a history around each branded beer.

And finally, they are helping protect the environment and sealife by supporting the Marine Conservation Society with the launch of the Fat Sprat beer and by using “green” distillery production. For example, they work with local farmers and producers; they use aneoribic digestion units, green roofs and bore holes to chill their brewery and the first carbon neutral bottled beer was made from hops grown locally at East Green.

The company maintains interest with its audience of the histories and builds real engagement and experience through brewery visits, events for the community and regular tweets. In 20 years they have built a strong offline reputation. Recently, they have started to develop this online reputation by refreshing their retail website, finely tuned to its audience needs, inviting them to participate in events, to comment, to interact on social channels and to built the story of their brand together.

Adnams expanded their activity, opening their Adnams Cellar & Kitchen shops to attract a new segment of women. “We were keen to appeal to the 50 per cent of the population we weren’t talking to – females.” says Andy Wood, Adnams chief executive and, in 2012, they won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development.

To what end – increased sales, visits, awareness?  We’ll look at this when we meet.

Buglife building its brand to be the “one-stop-shop” for bugs

Created in the 90’s when there was no one organisation devoted to protecting invertebrates, Buglife became the first to do so in Europe.

Over the past 20 years, 1,000 active members have joined Buglife. In 2012, a strategy and business review, helped by the Tubney Foundation funding, identified opportunities to increase their membership to 10,000 in the next five years by growing awareness through the brand and establishing new partnerships.

Buglife worked on all aspects (a more contemporary logo , website, social channels, employee engagement etc.) of their brand “personality”, to create a stronger and more powerful “environmental charity”. Green Banana Marketing has been assisting Buglife in defining their priorities, brand image, audiences and digital assets including ‘developing a new’ website.

For their various audiences, offline, Buglife organise different events (including be-lines), children packs for schools to awareness of invertebrate causes through their campaigns like Neonics. Online GBM have worked hard to build an entirely new website, keeping their audience up-to-date and involved. The aim being to increase participation with main groups (media, public, policy makers and partners) and to help them understand and interact with the main issues, and supporting the ambition of being the “one stop shop” for Bugs.

These recent change gave Buglife the opportunity to review its mission and image, and to create even more real interaction with its audiences.

The online part of this project will be launched towards the end of July – so we will be able to give a progress report at our next shortcut on 26th of July.

For more information, or to book your place – View event invite now!

Green Banana Marketing Virtually Hangout: Marketing Sustainability

Giles Robertson, Managing Director of Green Banana Marketing and associate Sustainability Practitioner, Kim Bailey, took part in a Google Hangout Session on whether consumers have turned-off from green and how marketing can switch them back on.

Check out the video on our You Tube Channel:

Here are the top 10 tips for marketing sustainability that came out of that conversation:

  1. Create your own unique sustainability journey
  2. Gain leadership from the top for an effective team effort
  3. Drop the jargon, avoid ‘greenwash’, go for absolute clarity
  4. Link-up with those in the know to lessen your environmental impacts.  This can be with NGOs such as the Marine Conservation Society to work on marine projects or sustainability experts to gain the right standards and certifications
  5. Develop credible targets and deliver tangible outcomes
  6. Breakdown your vision into bite-size pieces
  7. Use real people and real projects to tell your success stories
  8. Be bold in your ambitions and actions and let people know about them
  9. Social media is your best friend in creating conversations and motivating your customers, explain on a day-to-day basis how you are doing things and don’t ever tell porkie pies
  10. Celebrate success & reward your customers.  Place the emphasis on personal benefit and show how the greater good has benefited too.

Although the good old marketing strategies of knowing your customer and meeting them where they are in their environmental knowledge still holds good; sustainability marketing requires tangible proof for any claims.  Promises need to be delivered.

Green Banana Marketing Ltd’s associate sustainability practitioner, Kim Bailey, works with companies and charities to ensure that they are as green, smart and fair as they claim to be.

Follow us on Twitter @gogreenbanana.

 

 

 

Plan for the down time

Why not make an action plan now of the five things you are going to tackle with your brand and marketing this summer?

These often discussed tasks keep getting pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. Set aside time now with specific dates for each task and spend a day planning each of them. Treat yourself to a nice lunch and have ‘a date’ with your ‘to dos’ and turn them into ‘dones’.

Our recommendations – although somewhat broad and of course non-specific to your cause and charity – would be the following:

 

1. Take a day to review each of your audience types. You should have personas for each type of person and user journeys as to how they interact and when you can prompt them to support you. Do you need to look in more detail about each of your segments? Six advantages of segmentation: Focus of the company / Increase in competitiveness / Market expansion / Customer retention / Have better communication / Increases profitability (marketing91.com)

 

2. Is your digital estate reflective of how people have or would like to interact with you? Do a social audit and write a social media strategy. 80% of social media users prefer to connect with brands through Facebook (Business2community)

 

3. How is my money spent? This is the biggest question current and potential supporters, from your experience, want to know the answer to. Is your charity explaining clearly how each pound is spent to them? What are the impacts and link this to numbers and quantities that are realistic and meaningful i.e. ‘the same as the UK population” and  “the time it takes to make a piece of toast” work because they are easily understood and have a relevant context

 Why not write-up meaningful case studies that demonstrate your work.

 

4. What is today’s brand story? Stooped in myths and no-doubt your organisation has a long history.  People like to read about real people doing real projects, so bring alive the breath-and-depth of your organisation’s history i.e “delivering for the environment for the last 60 years” with the latest projects “here’s our snow leopard live tracking with Hans and his team…”

 

5. Use film. Make your story comes alive in 30 seconds; do have a three minute version (and a ten minute one too for potential partner meetings). About 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video and it is the 6th most popular marketing content today (blog-eloqua.com)

 

In the days and weeks ahead, use the summer quiet period to make a difference. We could do the heavy lifting for you and deliver some of the above and help you tick off your to do list, before going back to school.

 

Five ways to increase your influence with social media

Social media
Social media has become a far more prominent and important part of most people’s lives than we could have predicted.

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends”

Jeff Bezos, CEO at Amazon

Social media began almost a decade ago but it’s become a far more prominent and important part of most people’s lives than we could have predicted. It has become a more advanced version of the classic word-of-mouth – and companies try to use it as such.

Here are five tips to help increase your influence through social media platforms.

1. Know your online presence

Nowadays, almost all groups, charities, companies and individuals are running a social platform (or they should be). However, to make the most of your online presence, you need to be able to answer three fundamental questions:

  • What is my online presence? For instance, we’ve had clients not knowing about multiple Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook feeds, working inconsistently with different messages
  • Which social platforms best fit my supporter /audience base? For instance, Vine, the six second video sharing site, lends itself very well to WWF’s endangered species programme, but is perhaps less effective for the Samaritans’ support work
  • How are we measuring our influence online? Are we plotting and measuring where people go on our site, who is re-tweeting and what number of comments are we getting on our posts? (and, more importantly, how many people has this been fed on to)? Most platforms offer tools to measure how many times your pages or posts have been seen, the number of clicks per minute you’ve received, what content is the most appreciated (liked) by viewers, and so on.

2. Understand the best way to influence key audiences

Once you have found what is the best platform to reach your target audience, you need to find the best way to influence them through this channel. Should we produce posts, videos, photos and engage our target audience with games, petitions, actions, competitions etc? Keep them informed of how many actions and time spent equates to a certain level of influence. Amnesty do this really well, explaining that in 5 minutes you could sign a petition, with half a day’s support, you could attend a rally.

3. Produce shareable content – and make it easy to do so!

Most social platforms allow for the sharing of content so it is easy to engage with campaign videos, infographics, viral, posters, etc. in this most popular way. As stand out is tough on social platforms, all your creative talents should be focused on producing relevant photos to promote your posts and increase sharing opportunities. Make sure your content is not too heavy and long, and that people can quickly understand and share with their comments (and ownership). Heck, why not write a shareable chunk of text to go with posts, 140 word re-tweet friendly.

4. Consistent and flowing campaigns – don’t start and stop.

When you start being present on a social, make sure you keep your audience engaged by regularly posting information (at least twice a week). Show off past projects and successes, the difference you’ve made so far, your ‘storyboard’ or your personality – by interacting in this way, you will build engaged audiences. Keep you audience up to date. But don’t bore them.

5. Finally, let others do the heavy lifting!

Relevant partners will happily use your content, so build your campaign and change strategy with this in mind. You may well be the trusted partner in this programme and you can make use of networks, which may well quickly get to 1.5million people – if you are working with O2 Priority Moments, for instance. This is well worth doing if it can build support and engagement in a meaningful and relevant way.

Some of the best charities and environment social campaign from the last year include:

Campaign “Touch Yourself” for Breast Cancer Awareness

Touch Yourself
The campaign aimed to promote early cancer detection through self-checks for breast lumps.

The campaign launched in October 2012 by F Cancer and Women’s Health and Men’s Health magazines, aimed to promote early cancer detection through self-checks for breast lumps. A Facebook app was created to pledge to perform a self-check and share a variety of 14 pre-written postcards with friends, encouraging them to do the same.

This is the king of campaigns, a perfect example of how to use of social channels. Facebook was the main channel, with sharable content engaging the target audience and ways to encourage friends to do the same.

Campaign Twestival for Charity: Water

Twestival
Twestival aimed toto bring Twitter communities together to raise money for Charity: Water

“On 12 February 2009, 200+ international cities hosted a Twestival (Twitter + festival) to bring Twitter communities together to raise money for Charity: Water”. One week later the charity water staff flew to Ethiopia to drill the first well.

They immediately posted videos on Twitter related to their work, with some “re-tweetable“ information about water conditions, and published funds raised for each city. The Twitter activity allowed communities to engage, raise £174,899 funds for water projects, to build 55 wells, to serve water to over 17,000 people, and also to allow followers to see the day to day activity.

 

 

Greenest Leaders Ever?

With environmental leadership floundering at the very top of our “greenest government ever”, we thought it would be a good exercise to look at who has brought about some real green leadership through their work and vision.  Our Top 10 Environmental Leaders are as follows:

1. Tim Smit – founder of the Eden Project, which has become synonymous with raising awareness of green issues and inspiring young people

About 13 million visitors have come to the Eden Project, which cost £141m to build and is estimated to have generated £1.1bn for the West Country in extra tourist spending. Built to be as energy self sufficient as possible, the attraction provides environmental projects as well as allowing visitors to explore ideas and innovations that can be implemented to ensure we ‘tread lighter on the planet’.

Talking about the launch of The Eden Project “I thought that environmentalists were usually so boring, I wanted to do something that was so theatrical that people would have to suspend cynicism.”

2. Harriet Lamb – Fairtrade opened up the lives of producers on the other side of the world

Her team have helped build commercial partnerships that have resulted in sales growing from £30 million in 2001 to £1.32bn in 2011. This means that More than 7 million people in Africa, Asia and Latin America benefit from Fairtrade – farmers, farm workers, and their families. Fairtade this year launched a campaign requesting that the public sign a petition for smallholder farmers to get a better deal to hopefully spark debate about the matter at the summer G8 meeting. They achieved over 15,000 supporters.

“Times are tough for people in the UK right now. But across the developing world, times are desperate for smallholders, caught between rising food and fuel prices and a credit crunch that sees orders falling and access to loans becoming harder than ever”

3. Yvon Chouinard – founder of Patagonia who ‘walks the talk’

Just announced that his company will be launching an in-house venture fund named $20 million & Change for startups that try to make a positive impact in five areas: clothing, food, water, energy, and waste. Patagonie itself has challenged the status quo of retail

“…most of the damage we cause to the planet is the result of our own ignorance.”

4. David Attenborough – for an 87 year old, imagine if he was your granddad?

The famous face, or rather voice, of nature surely deserves his place amongst our green leaders. Playing a pivotal role in the regular depiction of nature on our TV screens, providing a window to the vast world we live in and the need to treasure it – his role in bringing to light the need for environmental action across the world has shown that he has been equally important outside of the small box in which we see him.

“We are a plague on the Earth…It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us”

5. Alistair McGowan – brought many faces to the environmental movement

Well-known ambassador of WWF, patron of charity Trees for Cities and 4-time host of the British Environment and Media Awards as well as many other environmental awards. Using his celebrity status to highlight issues in the environment. His involvement in the environment includes collaboratively purchasing a strip of land to prevent the development of a third runway at Heathrow airport, publicly backing Solar Power and developing an old coach house into an eco-friendly residential home.



On battling for the environment – “It’s the drip-drip effect of lots of small actions by individuals that has created the problem. And lots of small actions in reverse can help undo the problem.”

Other fantastic leaders who narrowly missed out on the top 5:

6. Andy Wood – MD of Adnams, low carbon brewery leading light in how to do best by community / environment

7. Kevin McCloud – eco-design champion in the design / built environment)

8. Paul Poleman – 5 levers for change at Unilver

9. Chris Packham – host of SpringWatch and exe CEO of BATS

10. Prince Charles – has the ability to change things and scale-up Duchy of Cornwall etc

These environmental leaders span many different professions from retail to the brewery trade and all are:

  •  Committed to creating change
  • Leading by example
  • Making sure that what they do is second to none.
  • Inspire millions of people through their work and vision
  • Happy to stand up and be counted – not hiding behind the parapet.

Governments take note – each of these leaders saw the need for change and acted on this.

Who will be the next environmental leaders of the future?

Engage with climate change today to be more competitive tomorrow

It is comforting to know that although climate change has been pushed to the back pages of the newspapers, sustainability and climate change are still embraced by some and innovation led by others, as we heard at the Climate Week Stakeholder Reception and the Unilever sustainable living debate last week. 
There is desire that the Durban UN climate talks, beginning today (the 17th Conference of the Parties, ‘Cop17’), result in our government adopting a clear roadmap.

Interesting themes came from the discussions about what companies could and potentially should be doing with regard to sustainability and climate change at The Climate Week Reception and the Unilever sustainable living debate last week.

The Rt Hon John Gummer said companies should aspire to be forward thinking, linking with the next generation of businesses. They need to commit themselves to real and tangible on-the-ground activity as part of society’s response to climate change. As Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever said, companies more in touch with society by definition have a greater chance than their competitors for longer-term success (and survival). Tackling climate change is vital for future markets and emerging economies, increasingly important as Western companies look to South America, Asia and Africa for opportunities as their economies suffer.

Engaging with youths was seen as another way of getting involved, highlighted by Tony Juniper (Special advisor to Prince of Wales Sustainability Unit). When companies use powerful examples of their work, it can reconnect the current ‘disconnect’ between society and the environment, too often felt by many young people, and spread through communities like wildfire.

He further emphasised the need for forward thinking companies to engage with on the ground people and projects. A line of thinking that was also echoed in the Unilever discussion by Malina Mehra, CEO of Centre for Social Markets, who stressed the importance of creating an inter-generational dialogue when companies craft an approach to sustainability.

Increasingly, companies are looking to external bodies to help them achieve their climate change and sustainability goals.  Companies often look to specialist climate change experts within charities who have the credibility and on the ground projects to make an effective partner.

It may be time to discover how your organisation can do more in the pursuit of an innovation led sustainable business, which should help secure your future.