Published on 18 Dec 2023
Climate Action Storytelling: How We Do It
We’re big believers in the magic of films to catalyse change. Our mission is to elevate the profile of organisations dedicated to forging a thriving future. And when projects emerge offering a chance to deploy our skills in climate action storytelling for positive impact, we dive in boots first.
A case in point is our collaboration with Hammersmith & Fulham Council, a London borough with the ambitious commitment of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. Our challenge was to create a film to gain support for their groundbreaking Green Investment scheme. With 10 days to conceptualise, script, plan logistics, shoot and edit, we knew there’d be some late nights in the office. But when a dream brief lands in our lap, we roll with it.
Greenbacks for Green Dreams
The Green Investment initiative empowers locals and external investors to fund climate and ecological projects in the Hammersmith and Fulham area. The council is looking to generate an investment into climate action of £5 million over the next few years, which is the highest target ever set by a local authority.
We’re loving the boldness! The project breaks new ground, by offering residents and businesses the chance to reduce carbon emissions, invest in climate resilience, and earn fixed returns on low-risk investments. It’s a win-win-win all round.
Our Approach to Visual Storytelling
In answer to the campaign’s need to drive engagement through film, we crafted a script to capture the core messaging and make the most of the great initiatives going on in the area.. Featuring Councillor Rowan Ree, Hammersmith & Fulham’s Finance and Reform whiz as the face of the campaign, we wanted our film to come across in a way that combined authority, trust, as well as inspiration.
To secure the buy-in of residents and investors, our film features Councillor Ree touring initiatives that embody H&F’s commitment to climate action. We highlighted existing and forthcoming projects such as local solar-powered buildings, the Hammersmith Cycle Hub and the Eelbrook Common depaving project. Throughout the film, we drive home one core message: if we all chip in, we can fast track this transformation.
Amplifying a Call To Climate Action
Our output amplifies the council’s determined approach to climate challenges. Consisting of a 2 min 30 film and three bite-sized social media edits, these present the scheme in an accessible and inspiring way, by filming the councillor always on the move, using bold text overlays and some beautiful shots from our beloved community.
By providing 3 social media cuts, we enabled the council’s communications team to perform A/B testing, and to assess which format achieved the best engagement. These edits didn’t just convey the vision of a transformed borough but also scream energy and motivation, getting viewers pumped to take action.
The seal of approval on our approach was this glowing feedback from Svea Hundsdorf, Senior Communications Officer at the council:
“We set out to put a face to local climate action in H&F – and Katia, Steve, Jack and the rest of the team exceeded our expectations. They did a fantastic job at helping our vision come to life and were just complete pros through and through regardless of what was thrown at them, all while working with extremely tight deadlines. We can’t wait to work with them again in the – hopefully near – future.”
To really put the council’s commitment to renewables up front and centre, we did our whole production on bike including all of our team, shooting on two wheels.
A Personal Commitment to Sustainability
This project resonates with us on so many levels. With many of our team living in the borough, for us moving our office to where we have roots was a conscious decision and part of our commitment to actively engage with our local community. Today, we’re proud to be active players of a thriving ecosystem and to collaborate with local partners. This is what we mean when we talk about our ‘growing local, thinking global’ ethos.
Beyond this, we believe that as creatives we have a responsibility to weave the transition to a sustainable future into our narrative. For most briefs, this is done subtly – but this one was a fantastic opportunity to bring climate action front and centre. Showcasing a positive and desirable vision of a sustainable future is a powerful way to engage and inspire the widest possible audience.
Walking the Green Talk…
Our commitment doesn’t stop at visual storytelling: we believe in tangible action and we put our wheels where our mouths are. To help us measure and bring our carbon footprint to the lowest possible, we used the Ad Green carbon calculator. Renting an e-cargo bike from Pedal Me allowed us to haul our kit, and our camera op for smooth tracking shots of contributors such as Councillor Ree (who was also cycling from location to location). Additionally, we all went veggie on set, and it also helped that our office building is on a 100% renewable energy tariff.
Our footprint clocked in at 0.018t CO2e … a tiny fraction of the industry average (6.1 tCO2e) … as a testament to our commitment to environmental sustainability.
…And Helping Our Clients Hit Their Mark
And the best news? As of 8th February, the first round of funding for the Hammersmith & Fulham Council Green Investment fund closed ahead of schedule, as it reached its target of raising £1million for green infrastructure projects. Congrats to all at the Council – we’re thrilled that such a great initiative has generated so much interest, and that our film has played a central role in helping raise awareness, and funding.