Tuesday 25 September 2012

Out, proud and green

I've just discovered what a great job the team at Manchester Pride are doing on making our city's annual gay pride party - one of the biggest and longest running in the UK - into a more sustainable event.

This year was as fabulous as ever, with a bit of science theme thrown in to commemorate the amazing Alan Turing (apparently a “Gayger” counter was featured, as well as a profusion of Turing’s Sunflowers). The Pride team also made huge headway on cutting their waste, too.

They got all the businesses in the cordoned off area for the event to suspend their own waste company collections during the period so they could manage all the waste across the whole site.

Historically it's been difficult to get the bars to split their waste into recyclable and non recyclable due to the fact they are so busy over the weekend, so they took the decision to employ additional staff to go into the bars themselves to collect the bottles and other recyclable waste.

The bars are mainly on a run along Canal Street so the staff went from one bar to another along the strip collecting the waste.

Pride's aim over the last few years has been to increase the amount of waste recycled and five years ago, the recycling rate was approximately 10% - they had some ground to make up.

This year, in total, their waste management company collected 22,700kg of waste and recyclable materials and they recycled a total of 9,590Kg which means the recycling rate was a massive 42.25%, nearly 10% up on last year's figures and a big leap up from 10% five years ago.

Sunday 1 July 2012

Bikenomics & Manchester

Here's a presentation I gave a few weeks back at the launch of Love Your Bike's manifesto for cycling in Greater Manchester. As ever, the subject of Middle Aged Men in Lycra (MAMILs) was covered...

Thursday 21 June 2012

Solar spill

Love this - Pattison Outdoor has denied Greenpeace Canada the space on one of its billboards in downtown Edmonton – and handed them a stonking PR opportunity.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Where's Manchester up to on climate change?

I've just been pulling together a presentation on climate change action across Manchester as part of my job as chair of the city's climate change steering group. All suggestions for other projects very welcome!

Stateofthe city2012
View more presentations from Creative Concern

Tuesday 17 January 2012

The ten keys to responsible communication

At Creative Concern we've been busy setting up a European network of like-minded agencies called 'Do Not Smile'; we've got good friends and colleagues now in Paris, Bonn and Brussels and we're actively scoping out more creative agencies with a penchant for sustainability so that we can swell our ranks even further.

As well as sharing ideas and insights, the network means we can collaboratively pitch for international accounts knowing that we have the reach needed to work alongside the bigger multinational agencies.

Anyway - to the point of this posting. I wanted to share one of the many useful nuggets of learning that I've gleaned from our continental friends: the notion of responsible communications. Established by a book of the same name and by a set of guidelines adopted by the French Advertisers Association, responsible communications is all about honesty, transparency and an end to 'greenwashing' particularly on the part of larger, more polluting corporations.

There are ten keys to the concept, scribble them down and apply them next time you're planning a campaign:

  1. Make sure that the represented behaviour is responsible and ethical.
  2. Use an appropriate register and do not exaggerate.
  3. Be honest.
  4. Use arguments that are placed in contact and reflect reality.
  5. Use vocabulary that is clear, precise and easy to understand.
  6. Provide sufficient, transparent and easy-to-access information.
  7. Make sure that what you say is based on reliable, verifiable data.
  8. Use creative/design elements that have a direct, logical connection with the reality being discussed.
  9. Follow the riles of rising logos, acronyms, symbols, trademarks and labels.
  10. Involve service providers such as agencies, copywriters and photographers.

So there you have it... ten steps to more ethical, responsible communications.

The eleventh step? Well you could always join our network.

(With thanks to Gildas and the comrades at Sidiese.)