From recycled sportswear to carbon neutral events, sustainability is a leading issue for active lifestyle, sports, outdoor and wellbeing brands. It’s more important than ever for companies and brands to take a position on climate change, speak out and take action.
But knowing where to start can be challenging, especially when today’s consumers are clued up at spotting greenwashing. Effective sustainability strategies need real action to back up the bold words. It’s why we are taking positive steps to put sustainability at the heart of Aspire and help our clients to do the same.
Sustainability matters to us all
Sustainability is a topic that means a great deal personally to everyone at Aspire. Many of us have young children who will be the ones to suffer if we don’t all commit to doing something and proactively take steps to instigating change now. We are already experiencing the frightening effects of climate change and can’t waste any more time as bystanders.
From talking to clients, the majority are already doing amazing things to address change within their business. Whilst strategies vary greatly from company to company, these best practices and positive actions should be shared much more widely.
Change can be tough, but the more we can encourage others, build momentum and be honest that we’re learning as we go, the more likely we are to overcome this huge challenge facing our planet.
How we’re going to up our game
We are great believers in harnessing our community to find experts to support our growth and development. So, it made sense to find a sustainability expert from within our community to begin our journey at Aspire.
We first met Toby Radcliffe when he was a professional triathlete over 10 years ago. He is now a father of two and a super sustainability expert launching his own start-up ventures, including ZeroBees that supports businesses like ours to become carbon neutral.
Toby is passionate about positive social and environmental change. He has an MSc in Financial Economics from SOAS and an MProf in Leadership for Sustainable Development from Forum for the Future.
We are genuinely excited to partner with such an expert in the sustainability field. Toby has been helping us in three important areas to embed sustainability at Aspire and support our clients on their approach and messaging.
1. Understanding standards, ethics and impact
One of our first actions has been training for the Aspire team. Toby shared key frameworks with us and examples of brand communications and advertising that does and doesn’t adhere to relevant standards or is ethically questionable.
We talked about how organisations and brands need to consider their positive and negative impact on the environment for the whole lifecycle before making green claims. The in-depth, interactive and engaging session provided each member of the Aspire team with a framework to open up the conversations around sustainability with each and every client, recognising there are a number of touchpoints that can be discussed in order to talk about positive brand impact.
2. Making pledges for the year ahead
We believe PR with purpose isn’t just about commercial success. We feel it is important to set agency goals that are true to our core values and address the social and environmental challenges that face the world today.
Our promise is to do what we can to act sustainably and influence others to act in a sustainable way.
To back up this pledge, we’ve set out the following goals for the year ahead.
Working in partnership with our sustainability partner, we hope to achieve positive outcomes by:
• Working with ZeroBees to measure the carbon footprint of the agency and set a target and plan to work towards
• Supporting brands in developing realistic sustainability strategies
• Developing communications to win recognition for clients’ sustainability practices
We want to support brands to build more conscious and responsible businesses, starting with our own, that really do make a difference to our planet.
3. Helping our clients to be more sustainable
At Aspire PR, we believe it’s okay to join the sustainability conversation before you have it all figured out.
If more brands open up about their goals and ambitions and the small, or big, steps they are taking, by telling their story in the right way, we believe we can instigate change more broadly and inspire others to build confidence in starting their own conversations.
We are fortunate enough to work with clients who are already starting on their sustainability journey. We have the opportunity to work with them to develop our expertise and service offering with live projects.
On is quickly becoming a pioneering brand in the sustainability space, investing heavily in new innovations. We launched Cyclon last year, a recyclable shoe made from caster beans and purchased on a subscription service. And we also announced On’s CleanCloud initiative, where carbon emissions are used to make EVA foam.
Our mission is to help our clients be authentic category leaders on sustainability issues and give real substance to sustainability communications.
Watch this space to find out more about our sustainability PR services. Or contact email@example.com to join the sustainability conversation.