Contributed by Rob Watson, creative director at Manchester-based Raw.
The project began when NHS Derbyshire County were given the task to reduce their CO2 emissions by 25% by 2014. 17% of savings had already been identified but the remaining 8% needed to be found through engaging staff and encouraging them to play their part in the required reduction. With a focus on three key areas of travel, energy wastage, and recycling, we set about creating a campaign that would achieve this target.
We decided to create a campaign that was fun, empowering and encouraged staff to ‘do their bit’ while becoming part of a wider green community within which they could share information and tips.
From the beginning we all recognised that it’s not always easy to be green and to start off with we all need to invest some of our energy into thinking green, whether it be recycling a stack of paper or reducing our car mileage. The Think Green campaign recognises the initial conscious thought process and makes going green more than a set of guidelines, and encourages staff to see it as a pleasurable activity.
Think Green aims to mark a new, inclusive approach to carbon reduction, encompassing staff at all levels and creating a sense of community through every level of the organisation. Staff that are passionate about ‘going green’ are invited to become green leaders, driving online content and spreading the message to fellow employees with an optimistic, lively outlook on reducing the carbon footprint.
One of the most positive aspects of Think Green is that anyone can become involved; it encourages and rewards participation, which in turn creates a community where people can share thoughts and stimulate action.
The Creative Response
Think Green is a mainly web-based campaign, with the majority of information and green initiatives operating online with a strong emphasis on user-generated content and interactive features. The site includes a car-pooling map, a pledge section where people can share their green goals, and a blog that is regularly updated with recipes, green news and lots of helpful advice.
Instead of using a flat, paragraph of text to introduce the campaign on the website, we decided to create a short animated video (embedded below) using original music from a local musician and some handcrafted illustrations that we produced in house.
Think Green on Vimeo
The Think Green desktop wallpaper also became a fixture on all organisation computers, helping to raise awareness of the campaign and encourage staff to pay a visit to the website.
A range of printed materials, including stickers, posters and postcards were also produced to reinforce the campaign messages and, in line with the environmental nature of the campaign, all the items were produced using the most environmentally friendly techniques and materials such as vegetable inks.
Both the online and printed designs all have a strong handmade, natural feel including a range of illustrations that we created for the campaign. We really wanted the campaign to be a total departure from the standard NHS printed materials in order for staff to see it as a separate enjoyable activity that wasn’t a set of rules for them to follow. This was pushed further through the canvas shopping bags that we produced with green slogans that were given out to staff as an intro to the campaign.
The design also allows for adaptability, as the campaign will continue to grow and evolve throughout its four-year life cycle. For example, the website backgrounds will change three times a year to reflect the seasons and printed materials will continue to be produced to engage staff with the three key areas of travel, recycling and energy in mind. We’re currently updating the website with an interactive Google map detailing recycling points and we’re also producing some new printed materials for the launch of the recycling phase in April.
This project continues to be a pleasure to work on and we believe that its success has been built upon a strong working relationship with NHS Derbyshire County and their faith in us to create something that is both beautiful and effective. The fact that we have an ongoing relationship that will see us grow and evolve Think Green up to 2014 also gives us the scope to tweak any aspects of the campaign that have been less effective and build on the most positively received ideas.