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Best practice - Communication campaigns


World Cleanup 2012

In 2012, from the 24th of March until the 25th of September, a series of cleanups swept over the globe, touching all continents and bringing together millions of people who cleaned up their homes. Based on social networks and an active internet platform, this campaign aimed at creating real global change by getting rid of waste wherever it was. The website taught everything from organising a cleanup (from organisation to HR management and reporting) to providing videos and feedback to encouraging changes in people’s daily behaviour. There were clean up groups of between a few thousand and up to 300 000 members, operating in 94 countries around the world.

More information: Website

UNEP Billion tree campaign

Initiated in 2006 by UNEP, and inspired by Professor Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement, this campaign aims to plant at least one billion trees worldwide each year. Under this campaign, people, communities, organisations, business and industry, civil society, and governments are being encouraged to plant trees and to enter their tree planting pledges on this web site. As of 2011, 12,585,293,312 trees were planted and registered.

More information: Website

The Meatrix

When The Meatrix launched in November 2003, the viral film broke new ground in online grassroots advocacy by creating a unique vehicle to educate, entertain and motivate people to create change. The Meatrix movies, now a series, have been translated into more than 30 languages and are one of the most successful online advocacy campaigns ever – with well over 15 million viewers worldwide. The issues treated include Biodiversity, Climate Change, Animal Welfare, the Environment, and Local Consumption.
The Meatrix series has received worldwide critical acclaim and has been honored with more than a dozen major film and Web awards, including the prestigious Webby Award, the Annecy International Animated Film Festival Award, the South by Southwest Interactive Award, and the Environmental Media Association’s Best Documentary Short Film award. Since its launch, The Meatrix has been shown at festivals, conferences, meetings, events, and local gatherings. Thousands of DVDs also have been distributed to teachers, students, parents, and individuals worldwide.

More information: Website
Contact: The Meatrix

2012 Power of Water Campaign

Organised by the Clean Water Network, the Power of Water campaign is designed to remind and encourage local, state and national legislators in the U.S. to ensure clean and adequate waterways for the public and environment. The campaign will be hosting a number of events in 2012 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Clean Water Act. Outreach materials, radio and television announcements, and digital content on the history and achievements of the Clean Water Act will also be distributed to decision-makers and the general public. (July 2012)

More information: Website
Contact: Nathalie Roy, Clean Water Network

Earth Day Network’s A Billion Acts of Green® Campaign

As the largest environmental service campaign in the world, this campaign rewards individual, organisational and governmental initiatives that help reduce carbon emissions and support sustainability. Online visitors can register online with A Billion Acts of Green and participate in community events including environmental meetings, tree plantings and renewable energy retrofits for buildings. The online tool allows individuals to register their daily actions in helping the environment such as conserving water and biking rather than driving to work. The campaign surpassed its initial goal of one billion registered actions in support of the June 2012 Rio+20 United Nations conference. (July 2012)

More information: Website
Contact: Bryan Buchanan, Earth Day Network

Ofxam Water Week

For Oxfam Water Week, the Oxfam organisation provides schools in England, Wales and Scotland with free teacher resources to educate children on water vulnerability. Teachers receive a booklet, multimedia tools, games and other materials to plan fundraising activities in support of Oxfam Water Week. In addition to raising awareness about clean water access around the world, funds from fundraising activities are donated to Oxfam Water Week's project in Niger. (July 2012)

More information: Website
Contact: Oxfam GB

ICLEI Procura+ Campaign

Procura+ Campaign is a Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) initiative designed to help public and semi-public agencies of all sizes engage in sustainable procurement and consumption, and spend public money responsibly on products and services promoting sustainable development. The ICLEI campaign supports local government agencies and authorities across Europe and publishes best practice examples of how entities can save money while performing well in the environmental arena. Participants can access the Procura+ Manual and sustainable procurement resource centre for information, news and discussion on sustainable procurement issues. (July 2012)

More information: Website
Contact: ICLEI Europe

EU Ecolabel

This campaign aimed to make the EU Ecolabel known in Belgium, and to trigger behavioural change in consumption. The concept of "plant a flower, pick a prize" was the basis of an online contest (although the flowers were grown in a real green house), with 10,000 EU ecolabelled prizes to win. The prizes were provided by Belgian producers, packaged by a company employing homeless people and shipped by the Belgian post, through a successful partnership. The Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and the Environment also used traditional media, along with partners’ promotional tools, to make this campaign a success. (November 2011)

More information: Website
Contact: Mieke Van de Velde (FPS Health, Food Chain Safety and the Environment)

National Teleworking Day

The campaign was set up by the Finnish Environment Institute in partnership with Microsoft, to encourage employees and companies consider telework as a valuable option. Indeed, working from home saves time and stress (related to commuting), is environmentally-friendly and can help workers be more efficient in their work. The Day was organised during European Mobility Week, so that both campaigns reinforce each other. The main tool for the campaign was a website, with a meter to count the amount of kilometres avoided (converted in hours and kilos of CO2), also using interviews with teleworking “forerunners” and connecting to social media. This teleworking day will be organised again next year, since it was a great success. (November 2011)

More information: Website
Contact: Ulla Ala-Ketola, Finnish Environment Institute

Junior City Farmer 2011

This year, the annual City Farming campaign focuses on young gardeners: the initiative aims to foster urban agriculture among children. A starting pack including small tomato plants is given to them for free, in order to “make cities green, not grey” and to let children experience what it is like to grow one’s own vegetables. An action week will take place at the Junior City Farmer Campus, where young gardeners display their works. It will be hosted by a teacher from the famous Schönbrunn horticulture school and a garden educationalist. (September 2011)

More information: Website

Green City 2015

Manchester city’s “Green City 2015” aims to enhance environmental performance to achieve its population's growth, wealth, health and happiness. Manchester intends to reach this goal by extending environmental education and raising awareness among people of all ages. The intention is to contribute to making people responsible citizens, and making them understand that they can change their environment in a good way with appropriate behaviours, values and skills. The city made an environmental guide available online, offering advice and guidance to its citizens on how to improve their daily habits. The youth is placed at the centre of the education campaign since the next generation will have the responsibility to find solutions to pollution and climate change. Public and private organisations are provided with an “Environmental business pledge”, which is a free advice and award scheme designed to help them improve their environmental performance. (September 2011)

More information: Website

Better than New : 100 % Old, Spain

Carried out across the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, this broad waste prevention campaign intends to teach the public how to use objects until they truly meet their end. The project actively engages the community by organising repair workshops (held daily at a local shop), and its website provides information on: ways to repair and reuse objects such as clothes, bicycles, furniture, and other household items, where to find secondhand shops or other online exchange-shops, and blogs for people looking to repair their own items. A part of the campaign is exclusively directed at encouraging children to reuse and prevent waste by helping schools organise “markets” of exchange as well as workshops on how to generate less waste. The "Better than New: 100% Old" campaign, ultimately seeks to pioneer a new philosophy of reuse and waste management to the general public. (May 2011)

More information: Website in Catalan

Water - Use it Wisely : Dealing with Addiction, USA

"Water - Use It Wisely" was initially launched in Arizona, and now has more than 400 private and public water partners. The campaign was conceived and designed to show citizens, children, businesses and municipalities how simple changes in everyday behaviours could make a huge difference in their water consumption. The campaign showed how easy saving water is with simple tips and tangible benefits. The campaign uses numerous communication tools; all gathered under one graphic visual identity. (May 2011)

More information: Website

Bring Back Blue, USA

This campaign was launched by Maricopa County to raise awareness on air pollution in Arizona. In this campaign, dust masks were employed to emphasise the seriousness of particulate pollution. A website and posters were used to give tips and information on how to reduce particulate pollution and "bring back blue skies" in the area. A dust mask was also wrapped around most county buildings downtown. The campaign was successful in moving air quality from fourth to first on the list of environmental concerns among the local residents. (May 2011)

More information: Website

Keep your soul unpolluted, Poland

This provocative campaign was based on the fact that 90% of the Polish population declare Catholicism as their faith. The Ministry of the Environment therefore decided to link being a good Catholic with being environmentally-friendly. It focused in particular on waste, which is a big issue in Poland. The main target groups were women and youth from villages and small towns, because religion had the greatest impact on these particular populations. The goal was to make people aware of the impact of illegal dumping and waste burning; the message used was not to commit “ecological sins”. Media tools included: television (with a spot of a priest who explained how to collect and dispose of waste properly), radio, print press (including a quote from John-Paul II), and the Internet. A competition for children was also set up: it consisted of creating an educational film or a comic strip, and to create a mascot toy out of waste materials. (March 2011)

More information: Website

National postcard initiative on biodiversity, Sweden

On June 5 (the International Day of the Environment), the Ministry of the Environment launched a campaign to raise awareness on local biodiversity and endangered species. The Minister sent postcards to local municipalities, featuring the threatened species in each particular region. The postcard came with an appeal to take action in order to protect these species. Local media and NGOs were alerted in order to put pressure on politicians through setting up stands during events, posters, etc. Schools and preschools were also targeted by the dissemination of a calendar which gives practical exercises and tips on biodiversity. The aim was to stress that it was crucial to work on local conservation. The idea of this campaign was inspired by similar initiatives that had taken place in Norway and Denmark. (March 2011)

More information: Description

National litter-picking days, Sweden

Litter causes environmental, social, and economic problems. The Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation therefore decided to create an annual campaign to tackle this issue, engaging as many Swedes as possible on a limited budget. A national day was declared to be dedicated to litter-picking and raising awareness on waste. Direct mailing to schools and municipalities was the main promotional action for the project, encouraging these bodies to participate in the event. Posters about the campaign were sent along with the invitations, and Keep Sweden Tidy’s webpage was continuously updated with information concerning the campaign. Members of the media were also informed, with good coverage (300 media features). The campaign did not use many give-aways – to be consistent with the message – only a trash bag for litter-picking and temporary tattoos displaying the message of the campaign. (March 2011)

More information: Website

Living Diversity, Austria

This campaign was the biggest nature conservation campaign ever launched in Austria. The Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and three Austrian NGOs launched a comprehensive set of actions, targeting all Austrians, in order to increase awareness on biodiversity. The campaign uses a positive tone, aiming to stop the loss of biodiversity, actively involve the public in its preservation, combine all forces for biodiversity, and familiarise everyone with the issue. Many actions were organised: 21 threatened species were associated with 21 celebrities respectively who act as ambassadors for their species. A beehive was installed on the roof of the Vienna Opera House, and many activities were set up during biodiversity week,a competition for municipalities was launched to promote “biodiversity champions”, etc. (March 2011)

More information: Website

Water guide for building and renovation, Belgium
From the assessment that Belgium was performing badly regarding the water exploitation index, the Flemish Environment Agency decided to design a campaign to explain legal and technical information to architects – the major stakeholders of water use in buildings. A guidebook and a website were produced using a relatively small budget. A partnership was formed with the Flemish Organisation of Architects and the Centre of Sewage Companies in order to lend credibility to the messages conveyed. The dissemination of the guidebook started on World Water Day, and the guidebook was presented during a wastewater-focused conference. Paper copies of the information were sent along with building permits. Information sessions were organised for architects. Municipal administrations were also targeted, and free links were added to public websites. (March 2011)
More information: Website

Be Plant Wise, United Kingdom

This campaign aims at raising awareness amongst gardeners in order to reduce invasive aquatic species. These species are widespread in the UK, and they are quite difficult and costly to control. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs therefore decided to launch a creative and engaging campaign, using attractive pictures and simple mottoes: “be plant wise”, “know what you grow”, “compost with care,” and “stop the spread”. Traditional media were used (press relations and video), as well as digital media (mainly via a website). A partnership with retailers was initiated. (March 2011)

More information: Website

Campaign for the promotion of low-energy light bulbs, Netherlands

The Netherlands decided to phase out incandescent light bulbs. The Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment decided to support this initiative with a communication campaign on energy consumption and on the new low-energy light bulbs. The main slogan was: “be smart about energy use”. To efficiently communicate this message, the Ministry set up a taskforce gathering light bulb producers and retailers, which was quite unusual since these two groups encompass companies which usually are competitors. Their goal was to combat prejudice against low-energy lighting, to advise consumers on what they should buy, and to explain the transition. Media used included in-store communication material, mass media, and a designated logo. The campaign continues in 2010, even after the Ministry decided to step back and to allow the producers and retailers design their own communication strategy on low-energy light bulbs. (March 2011)

More information:Description

Earth Hour

WWF launched in 2007 a symbolic action all around the world: during one hour every year, many citizens, private and public places turn their lights off. This aims at showing the importance of fighting climate change and protecting the planet. Each event involves more people and more countries, reaching 128 countries and territories in March 2010. (July 2010)

More information: Website
Contact: Earth Hour

La Bisontine, France

The city council of Besançon designed this campaign in 2006 to promote tap water. A water brand was launched (la Bisontine) with a virtual label, and carved jugs were produced. The campaign focuses on 3 arguments: quality of water, cost and environmental impacts. The website presents their graphic material. The aim of this initiative is to demonstrate the quality of drinking water offered by the city and to create a positive connection with the inhabitants. (July 2010)

More information: Website , Website

WWF Climate Savers

Climate Savers is a forum, launched in 1999 by the WWF, where leading companies take innovative commitments to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. By the end of 2010, the WWF Climate Savers companies will collectively have cut carbon emissions by an estimated 50 million tonnes since the programme’s inception. The campaign works by showing that fighting C02 emissions can be profitable to the companies and provide them with a competitive advantage over others. (July 2010)

More information: Website, Website
Contact: Marion Santini

European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR)
This campaign, organised by the Life+ EU Programme together with 5 environmental agencies, aims at raising awareness on waste prevention and at promoting waste reduction activities across Europe. Public authorities with expertise in the field of waste reduction and project developers of all sorts (NGOs, businesses, educational organisations…) are invited to organise events in their area. The 2009 event was very successful (with 2,600 EWWR Actions taking place across 22 countries and regions), and the first European Waste Reduction Awards will now take place in March 2010 in Brussels, to recognise and reward best practices in Waste Reduction. In 2010, the EWWR will take place from November 20th to 28th. (February 2010)
Read more: Website

Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign
UNEP has a target of having 1 billion trees planted around the world. People willing to plant one or several trees can make an online pledge. The website offers technical advice on tree-planting and a campaign album. It also promotes tree-planting initiatives. (February 2010)
More information: Website

It's your climate, Germany

This initiative was launched by the German Federal Ministry of Environment. It consists of a dedicated website, on which individuals, towns and companies can present their projects and campaigns to fight climate change. Descriptions, pictures, videos and links can be provided. The objective is to disseminate best practices and to foster further action on this topic. It also enables members to exchange and plan collaborative actions.  A main component of the website is the online Atlas for Climate Protection, available in German and English, where people can map themselves as climate ambassadors. (September 2009)


A survey on campaigns and initiatives for climate change communication, Italy
The expert group on Article 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has started an intermediate review of best practices in communicating Climate Change issues in different countries. The survey was also conducted in Italy, where many practices have been collected at national, regional and local level in the local agenda 21 database. The following projects and initiatives have been analysed: 1. Best practices among events financed by European, national and regional funds, 2. Project winners of specific competitions, 3. Best practices highlighted on institutional websites, 4. Best practices in environmental communication on climate change initiatives. (July 2009)
More information: Description, Website, Website

Week of Sustainable Development, France
The “Week of Sustainable Development” is a European initiative which takes place every year from the 1st to the 7th of April and was initiated in France eight years ago. The project includes an advertising campaign, a call for projects to local communities, companies and institutions asking them to organise public events about sustainable development. The selected initiatives receive a communication kit with posters about sustainable consumption and get coverage on the website dedicated to that special week. The idea of the campaign is to get people to change their consumer habits and adopt a sustainable way of life. The main theme for the last two years in France has been sustainable consumption. The 2009 week generated 4350 projects and important press coverage. (July 2009)
More information: Description, Website

Nature year 2009, Sweden
2009 is the centennial year of the first national parks and the first nature protection law in Sweden and Europe. The aim of the project is therefore to create interest in Nature Year, nature conservation and to coordinate the different activities. All major stakeholders in nature conservation have been gathered under one umbrella organisation with a common website and symbol. “Nature year 2009” wants to increase public awareness of the 25 participating organisations, show the broad span of actors involved and create interest in the activities taking place all around the country. The purpose is to give a retrospective view of nature conservation and also to look at it in the context of future challenges, thus strengthening the position of nature conservation. (July 2009)
More information: Description, Website

Keep away from energy-guzzlers, Belgium
An internet-based CO2 calculator was developed, allowing: 1. to evaluate the energy performance of existing appliances/products at home, giving personalized advice on replacement or better use; 2. to make a “wise” personal selection of new appliances/products amongst all products available on the Belgian market. For new appliances/products, the calculator calculates the CO2 emissions and financial cost, as well as the yearly savings and the payback time. It even allows accounting for personal selection criteria, personal behaviour, specific parameters (energy price, mean outside temperature of the region...) and existing fiscal incentives and subsidies. The website has been promoted by a campaign with strong, humoristic images and has won many national and international awards (3 golden Belgian awards, the "Bronze World Medal" + "UNDPI-Gold" at the New York Advertising Festival (2007) and was shortlisted at the international Publicity Festival in Cannes 2008). (July 2009)
More information: Description, Website in Dutch, Website in French

Muck In4Life campaign, United Kingdom
Muck In4Life is a campaign which aims to enhance biodiversity by increasing the number and diversity of citizens involved in conservation volunteering. The campaign also increases the public’s awareness of the physical and mental health benefits from being active outdoors, whether in urban green spaces or the natural environment. Through the campaign, families and community based groups were encouraged to undertake a range of outdoor volunteering activities to protect precious wildlife (from monitoring species to scrub and path clearing and creating habitats). Muck In4Life conservation volunteering opportunities are the perfect way to entertain children with free, fun activities during the school summer holidays. Communication activities will be particularly focused during the summer months of 2009 to take advantage of this. The campaign runs throughout England with particular focus on five regions with a high index of the campaign target audience. (July 2009)
More information: Description, Website

Change your habits for good, change your climate for the better, Poland
This Polish campaign had several objectives: 1. educate people about climate change, energy saving, gas saving, water saving and recycling; 2.build social awareness of risks of climate change and stimulating public debate on consequences of human inactivity; 3. demonstrate that consumer purchasing decisions can fight climate change while saving consumers money; 4. raise employee awareness that reducing office waste and energy and adopting environmental management systems can positively impact climate change mitigation. 5. promote green lifestyle in Poland as a modern and international way of life. The campaign used a range of communication channels, including radio, television, newspaper advertisements, internet tools (e.g. You Tube), competitions and educational initiatives, to reach a diverse target audience and meet its wide ranging goals. (July 2009)
More information: Website

Love Food Hate Waste, UK
The Love Food Hate Waste campaign aims to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste. The campaign shows that by doing some easy practical everyday things at home we can all waste less food, which will ultimately benefit our purses and the environment too. "Love Food, Hate Waste" is brought to you by WRAP, who are also responsible for encouraging recycling and home composting. WRAP is funded by the government and works to encourage and enable businesses and consumers to be more efficient in their use of materials and recycle more things more often. This helps to minimise landfill, reduce carbon emissions and improve our environment. (April 2009)
More information: Website, WRAP

Thick Jumper Day, Belgium
Since 2005 the Flemish government has been organising a "Thick Jumper day" each year in February. On that day, they call on schools, authorities, companies and households to make an effort in order to reduce energy consumption and thus decrease greenhouse gas emissions at home, at school and in the office. The profit is double: making people aware of climate issues and effectively reducing CO2 emissions. (November 2008)
Contact: Environment, Energy and Nature Department, Flemish Government, Belgium

One tonne less, Denmark
One Tonne Less is an awareness-raising campaign which aims at informing every single Dane that CO2 emissions are caused by our way of life, and that we are all responsible for reducing our own contribution and that this can be done without waving goodbye to our modern way of life. The campaign encompasses a range of different media and partners. (November 2008)
Read more: Description, Website, Brochure in English
Contact: Danish Energy Agency, Ministry of Climate of Energy

Naturdetektive – a nature observation project, Germany
Over a decade, "Naturdetektive" has developed into a youth/public multimedia nature observation project and supports the awareness raising on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Germany. It links web-based information, e-Learning tools and reporting facilities with practical field work. (November 2008)
Read more: Description, website, brochure in German

CITES - "Wildlife Inspector in Action"
The CITES Management Authority initiated a campaign with WWF Hungary and Oracle Hungary in order to raise awareness among children in schools. The children were invited for a country-wide tender called ’Wildlife Inspector in Action’ where their task was to search for endangered, CITES-listed species in their surroundings (pet shops, zoos etc.), and afterwards create their own web pages to display their results. (November 2008)

Adopt a River – a national programme on the importance of rivers, Poland
“Adopt a River” is a national programme for ecological education with particular focus on rivers and their importance. It is based on local community activities - with particular focus on children and youth - and cooperation with local governments, public administration, NGOs and private companies. The programme is aimed at all types of educational institutions as well as institutions and organisations interested in water management and conservation. In 2006, several thousand people took part in the programme. (November 2008)
Read more: Description
Contact: Klub Gaja, ecological and cultural NGO

Using tips and poems to promote environmental quality objectives, Sweden
This campaign links to the 16 Environmental Quality Objectives adopted by  the Swedish Parliament in 1999. It aimed to promote awareness among the general public as to how their individual actions can contribute to achieving these objectives. The campaign consisted of inspirational "tips-and-poems" web pages. (May 2006)

"Drop your own" - A waste separation campaign, Hungary

Awareness raising campaign to promote waste separation. The campaign includes a wide range of communications tools, including TV spots, web site and online banners, printed materials, stickers and a very popular prize game. (March 2006)


Charleroi campaign to change consumption patterns
Charleroi decided to tackle one of the principal sources of waste, namely packaging waste. To do this they set about building a partnership and systematic communications campaign with local citizens, and most interestingly, with a network of major supermarkets. (Jan. 2005)


last update: 03/12/2012