Communicating Sustainability

 

Lead organization: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and FUTERRA

Download: The publication "Communicating Sustainability: How to produce effective public campaigns" is available in English, French and Spanish.

Summary: By identifying principles and best practices for running effective public campaigns on sustainability, this project developed a foundation for outreach across a wide range of audiences.

Objective: To raise the standard of campaigns on sustainable lifestyles around the world to create change

The Story: Recognizing the need for more effective communications on sustainability issues, the project aimed to deliver its objectives in two stages. During the first phase, Futerra and UNEP produced Communicating Sustainability. This guide, designed to help practitioners develop effective sustainability communications campaigns, was a step-by-step guide to building a communications plan. The second phase focused on building the capacity of communicators. Three training sessions were held in Brazil and two in China. Attendees included national governments, policy specialists and decision-makers in local authorities (such as mayors and councillors), marketing experts, NGOs, consumer associations, and academics with an interest in sustainable lifestyles. 

Outcomes: Translated into French and Spanish, Communicating Sustainability has been downloaded over 700,000 times, a huge number for one publication. The clear, functional structure was particularly appealing, as were the variety of case studies used to illustrate the points. Participant feedback from the training workshops was very positive. Key success factors here involved high levels of interaction and a focus on using local issues as a basis for the workshop content.

Lessons: The report provides a number of lessons for those looking to encourage and engage people on sustainable lifestyles:

  • How to shatter the myths around sustainable development
  • How to developing a communications plan
  • Identifies the obstacles faced by national and local authorities
  • Provides best practice examples
  • What resources are necessary to generate change

Contacts:
Ms. Solange Montillaud-Joyel, United Nations Environment Programme: Solange.Montillaud-Joyel@unep.org
Mr David Willans, FUTERRA: david@futerra.co.uk