Climate change is a hot topic these days. Not only is it part of our home lives, but it plays a big part in our working lives too. That’s why many of the world’s biggest companies are making climate action a part of their strategy – bracing themselves for the prospect that climate change could substantially affect their overall profit within the next five years. So how does that impact businesses like Prophecy Unlimited? Matt Healey, Head of the Sustainability Group, and all-round Greta enthusiast, talks through some of the achievements they’ve made in making Prophecy more climate-friendly.
I started the Prophecy Sustainability Group in an effort to take more responsibility for what’s going on in our world. It was about using my own initiative, not waiting for permission or moaning about why things weren’t being done. I was probably influenced by Greta and messages like, ‘If not now, when? If not you, who?’ which featured on the Glastonbury Festival bags in 2019. After sending a few emails and asking for people to get involved, we formed the Sustainability Group. Our biggest win of 2019 was linking up with other agencies – we are 10 agencies in total – to share findings. Now we are working to make sustainability a key pillar in our 2020 group strategy, so going well beyond our office of 100+ to now influence 900+ employees, their friends, family and clients.
The main aim of the group is about starting conversations. I gave up meat a few years back and some people’s first opinion was, ‘what, you don’t eat meat?!’ Then after a chat I discovered that they too are cutting down their own consumption, or eating better quality to reduce their impact. Working in an agency, especially in Bristol, you find we are mostly like-minded people. Initiatives like collecting crisp packets and single use packaging from landfill have been hugely successful. We have a chat group for selling/sharing unwanted items. We have real plants to make the office a better environment to be in. Our use of plant-based milk is on the up. We hold monthly chats to discuss the latest sustainability topics, what people do in their day-to-day lives and cool initiatives they have seen. We provide employees with a station in our building for reusable, cups, containers and bags. And we have started conversations with local businesses to get discounts when we use reusable containers for their food. We are even taking on the big stuff like where our office gets its electric from!
There is no denying that sustainability is a hot topic within any organisation. Increasingly, we’re seeing brands asking questions in pitches about what our views are on sustainable development and social responsibility. Rightly so, sustainability is becoming an everyday part of our lives and our clients.
It also makes for a better place to work, an environment where change is embraced and encouraged, where we question where the rubbish goes and not simply accepting it’s out of sight and out of mind.
All in all, we can of course always do more, but we have made a great start and will continue to talk, share and change what we can, for the ‘greater good’ (Hot Fuzz 2007).