How we made an impact in 2022

Fiona Stainer
A year of powerful campaigns for nature and climate

2022 was a tumultuous year to say the least. Early on, the world was plunged into geopolitical turmoil as Russia invaded Ukraine. Back home, the energy market faced further shocks, with the increase in the energy price cap forcing a significant proportion of the population into financial uncertainty. One month later, in April, the IPCC declared it was ‘now or never’ if the world wanted to prevent the worst effects of climate breakdown. And within four months, the UK was witnessing record-breaking temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius, as drought ravaged the country and caused major disruptions to food supply chains.

There were also major highlights. The election of President Lula in Brazil in November pulled future of the Amazon rainforest back from the brink. Two weeks later, major commitments to loss and damage payments were made at COP27. And in December negotiators at CBD COP15 – the ‘biodiversity COP’ – pushed through a historic commitment to halt biodiversity loss and restore 30% of the world’s ecosystems by 2030.

What did our year look like at Greenhouse? With over 100 individual campaigns to reflect on, we have a lot to be proud of. Here are some reflections on a bumper year of driving impact.

  • We worked with game-changing clients, pushing the boundaries of what is possible. From air taxis to water quality, we helped communicate the solutions that will aid us in tackling the climate and biodiversity crises.
  • Our tenacious and passionate team demonstrated the depth and breadth of their expertise. We advocated for the inclusion of wetlands in global biodiversity policy, communicated the necessity of scaling investment in battery storage, supported campaigns calling for an end to fossil fuels, urged governments to redirect harmful subsidies towards nature-based solutions, conveyed the necessity for integrity at the heart of the voluntary carbon market, and so much more.
  • We grew our team, with new and brilliant people adding to our skills and insight across digital, animation, tech and advocacy.
  • We received Incredible feedback from our clients, who repeatedly highlighted our in-depth understanding of their work and why it’s important.
  • We brokered radical collaborations, bringing organisations and individuals together to drive change and hold others accountable. We worked increasingly with coalitions of organisations working towards radical systems change. At COP26, we coordinated communications for five pavilions pushing for radical transformation: the Food Pavilion, the Water Pavilion, the Nature Zone, the Resilience Hub, and the first ever Children and Youth Pavilion.
  • Over the year we delivered pro bono training to more than 160 youth activists, empowering them to effectively communicate their climate advocacy.
  • We contributed 6% of our profit to the planet this year through donations to climate projects, with a further 10% of profit reinvested in pro bono work
  • We implemented a robust Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy, reviewing where we are and where we want to be, and putting new measures and policies in place to ensure everyone feels welcomed, supported and included within our organisation.

With so many campaigns across so many different areas, it’s nigh on impossible to summarise our 2022 in one blog post. However, we want to highlight some of the key areas in which, in tandem with our brilliant clients, we have driven impact this year.

Driving two historic agreements for nature and people at COP27 and COP15

2022 was a landmark year for biodiversity, offering vital opportunities to protect and restore nature over the next decade and beyond. From pushing for radical subsidies reform, and raising the voice of more than 330 businesses calling for a strong Global Biodiversity Framework that holds businesses to account with Business For Nature, to running communications for a worldwide coalition of nature organisations at both COP27 and COP15 with Nature4Climate, we worked tirelessly this year to give nature and nature-based solutions a voice on the global stage.

The impact of these multiple campaigns was undeniable. The final COP15 deal, hot off the press at the end of the year, includes targets to protect 30% of the planet for nature by the end of the decade, reform $500bn (£410bn) of environmentally damaging subsidies, and restore 30% of the planet’s degraded terrestrial, inland water, coastal and marine ecosystems.

Learn more about Nature4Climate and Business For Nature.

Radical collaboration on innovation on a global scale

In September, a major global report found that the world remains off track to meet global climate goals and that greater international cooperation and coordination is required to rapidly develop and deploy the technologies needed to reach net zero. Mission Innovation’s 24 members represent 95% of global public investment in clean energy innovation and their collective investments and collaboration will significantly accelerate the innovation needed to demonstrate and scale clean technologies.  

Following a successful launch of Mission Innovation 2.0 in June last year, in 2022 Greenhouse developed the ‘Unite for Action’ campaign, to be launched at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum (GCEAF), to drive global awareness, understanding and engagement. Through this work, Mission Innovation emerged as a leader and convenor for global clean energy innovation. An ever-growing community of engaged partners and stakeholders are ready to support the 221 demonstration projects announced in 2022 and expand international collaboration on clean energy.

Visit our toolkit to see the assets and messaging we created for the Unite for Action campaign. 

Launching Europe’s most powerful EV charging hub

To reach net zero, the UK has announced plans to rapidly decarbonise its two most highly polluting sectors – power and transport – by building 50 GW of offshore wind and putting 36 million EVs on the road by 2040. Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) is helping to meet these goals by combining the world’s largest vanadium flow battery – used to store renewable energy – with the most powerful EV charging hub in Europe.

In June, Greenhouse announced the launch of ESO. Bringing three of our brilliant clients together – EDF Renewables, Wärtsilä and Invinity – the launch broke new ground on grid-scale battery technology and EV charging by pioneering  a new approach to energy storage.

This powerful collaboration demonstrates what’s possible for infrastructure in the UK and globally when businesses come together to take collective action on decarbonisation.

Read more about Energy Superhub Oxford here.

Advocating for the inclusion of wetlands in global climate and biodiversity policy

 Wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests, with 35% of wetland ecosystems lost since 1970. This includes mangroves, which shelter up to 341 threatened species across the world,and providing food, fuel, shelter and income to 120 million people globally. Their value cannot be overstated.

We worked with the Save Our Mangroves Now! (SOMN) initiative to produce a report synthesising their work in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region to date, bringing together data on extent, loss and gains, and the socio-economic value of mangroves in the region, as well as an overview of governance challenges and policy opportunities. The report was designed to highlight to policymakers the importance of mangroves for climate and biodiversity ahead of global conferences COP27 and COP15. This followed a collaboration with SOMN partner Wetlands International to lobby for the adoption of Global Wetland Targets.

Ultimately, the Global Biodiversity Framework finalised at COP15 explicitly named inland waters and coastal ecosystems in the targets for restoration and conservation of 30% of the planet by 2030. This is a significant win for mangroves and other wetlands ecosystems, and the WIO region has a key opportunity to share learnings and best practice with other regions to ensure the protection and restoration of mangroves globally over the next decade.

Read the SOMN report here and see our toolkit for further messaging and assets.

Showcasing the work of pioneering farmers and food producers 

There is a perception that food systems – particularly agriculture, as the ‘face’ of food systems – have a negative impact on the environment. This attitude overlooks a key opportunity to drive positive impact through their transformation.

In the run-up to COP27, EIT Food wanted to showcase the breadth of innovation in food production as a key solution to climate change, by amplifying the passion and diversity of ‘farmers’ who are already driving food systems transformation. We created CROP27, a digital campaign that profiled 27 innovators across the food system in the countdown to COP, highlighting the impact their work is having on the future of food.

COP27 was the first COP to put food and agriculture front and centre in negotiations. By profiling the diversity of innovation and food system solutions in the run-up to the conference, the CROP27 campaign amplified the importance of food innovation in climate dialogues, creating conversations online ahead of and during COP27. This was echoed on the ground, with stakeholders of the COP27 Food Systems Pavilion discussing and sharing the campaign within their networks at the conference.

Read more about the CROP27 innovators here.

Ensuring youth activists have a voice in global climate negotiations with the first ever Children and Youth Pavilion at COP27

Children and young people will be most affected by climate breakdown, but their voices are overwhelmingly sidelined on the global stage – particularly the voices of youth from the Global South, who are already on the frontline of the crisis. This year, we worked with more than 100 young people, supported by some of the world’s leading youth networks and NGOs to bring the first ever Children and Youth Pavilion to COP27. From branding, messaging and pavilion design, through to social media, media training, film production and media relations, we were involved every step of the way, helping to ensure that youth voices were heard on issues from loss and damage to climate finance and nature-based solutions.

The pavilion was a crucial source of comfort and confidence for young people at COP, and a haven of creativity. The vibrancy and energy it brought to the conference led to more productive and powerful engagement than ever before, resulting in multiple mentions of young people in the final COP27 cover text.

Learn more about the Children and Youth Pavilion.

Launching the world’s first-ever public database on fossil fuels with the Global Registry of Fossil Fuels

To date, climate change policy efforts have focused on reducing the consumption of fossil fuels but ignored the supply side. The Paris Agreement, for example, never mentions fossil fuel production. Civil society lacks the data to hold policymakers accountable for emissions linked to their production decisions, while banks and investors lack the information to predict which assets are most likely to become stranded. The Global Registry of Fossil Fuels was created to fill this data gap.

We supported the launch of the Global Registry and accompanying report, which found that burning the world’s proven fossil fuel reserves could emit 3.5 trillion tons of greenhouse gases, over seven times the remaining carbon budget for 1.5C.

We secured over 1,000 media articles worldwide, with top news agencies AP (USA), AFP (France), Al Jazeera, Reuters and ANSA (Italy) spreading the story far and wide. The launch of the Global Registry during NYC Climate Week, while world leaders were focussed on climate action at the UN General Assembly, put fossil fuel supply under the spotlight. Much of the media attention emerged alongside coverage of leaders’ key speeches and pledges. It also increased pressure on companies and governments worldwide to align their goals with the 1.5C limit, ahead of the G20 and COP27.

Visit the Global Registry of Fossil Fuels here.

Campaigning for clean air, backed by the world of sport

According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution is reported to cause seven million deaths a year. Polluted air puts the 1.4 billion people who run on a regular basis at risk of serious health implications, and yet rising obesity rates, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, poor diets, and limited access to nutritious food mean there is a greater need for exercise than ever.

Working with World Athletics, we developed Every Breath Counts, a fully integrated campaign to raise awareness of the risks of air pollution, and apply pressure to local and national authorities and decision-makers to improve air quality as a priority. We were involved at every stage of the campaign, from messaging and creative through to media relations and digital activation (including influencer collaborations). The jewel in the crown of the campaign was our impactful hero film focused on a dystopian future where air pollution has made sport impossible.

The campaign launch, which took place on Global Running Day in June, saw 39 pieces of coverage including BBC World News, CNBC Europe, Euronews, Sky News, LBC News, The Times, PA Media and Edie. The digital launch secured 25 million impressions and 3.7 million engagements. So far there have been 3100 signatures to the Declaration of Clean Air, which calls on local and national governments and civil society to take action to meet air quality guidelines set by the World Health Organisation, while monitoring and reducing air pollution globally. 

Sign the Declaration for Clean Air here.

Pushing for green finance innovation to drive the growth of a battery market

 The UK currently produces two GWh of battery capacity a year but needs to ramp up to over 90GWh by 2030 to maintain the car industry at its current size. Investment is urgently needed to increase battery production and secure for the UK a major share of the rapidly growing global battery supply chain market, which is forecast to grow to $278 billion by 2030. 

In May, we led an integrated PR and digital campaign to launch the Green Finance Institute’s Coalition for the Decarbonisation of Road Transport’s (CDRT) flagship battery report, Powering the Drive to Net Zero. The report highlighted the barriers to developing a UK battery supply chain and recommended solutions to increase investment into the sector.

The launch generated over 120 pieces of media coverage, including articles in Reuters, Bloomberg, Forbes, City AM, Mail Online, MSN and Yahoo Finance, positioning the CDRT at the core of the battery supply chain debate. CDRT was centre stage at the FT’s flagship EV event, catalysing conversations with multiple industry leaders including the UK Infrastructure Bank. The report has had lasting impact, with multiple businesses pledging to implement the report’s recommendations into their future business planning.

Read the CDRT battery report here.

Launching a vision and a blueprint for the future

Earth4All brings together schools of thought from Wellbeing Economics, De-Growth, Green Growth, Ecological Economics, the Doughnut Economics and the movement to go Beyond GDP to create the Transformational Economics Commission. 

This year we launched the ‘Earth4All: A Survival Guide for Humanity’ book, which presented the results of a two-year research project by leading scientists, economic thinkers and a team of ‘systems dynamics’ computer modellers.

Our team brought together their expertise across ecosystem protection, planetary boundaries and green economics to launch the model, aimed at communicating ideas for a transformational economic system and to create policy pathways to provide the solutions to create a better Earth for us all. To achieve this goal, Earth4All identified five extraordinary turnarounds needed to create wellbeing for all on a stable planet: Empowerment, Inequality, Energy, Food and Poverty.

To ensure Earth4All’s landmark findings were communicated widely, the Greenhouse team crafted a media narrative and messages to engage targeted national and international policymakers and media, securing an incredible 431 pieces of coverage across more than 50 countries.

We also developed a social media campaign – including a hero animation that was scripted, storyboarded and developed by us, explaining the two possible pathways in accordance withEarth4All’s modelling and possible policy action. Digital assets showcased the five extraordinary turnarounds, breaking down Earth4All’s key findings for the general public and calling for effective action on the climate crisis.

Read more about Earth4All.

Ensuring integrity is at the heart of the voluntary carbon market 

High integrity carbon credits can unlock urgently-needed finance that wouldn’t otherwise be available. However, there have been many instances where carbon credits have been sold that didn’t do what they said they were going to do, exploited people and caused unacceptable human suffering, or were used as an excuse for heavy polluters to carry on with business as usual. We need a global system that protects and promotes Indigenous people and local communities’ (IPLC) human rights, their land rights and their livelihoods, and accelerates the supply of high-quality carbon credits from IPLC-led activities in order to implement crucial nature-based solutions and keep us on track to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

We worked with the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market, an independent governance body for the voluntary carbon market, to launch a public consultation on the development of Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) that will set new threshold standards for high-quality carbon credits. We developed strategy, messaging, media briefings, a stakeholder event and toolkit, media training, stakeholder engagement, a website landing page, films, and social assets for the consultation launch, which ultimately received well over 5,000 comments from more than 350 submissions. These responses show the level of commitment to high integrity that exists across the whole market, and will inform further dialogue and iteration to the CCPs in 2023 – putting us well on the way to a voluntary carbon market that is efficient, effective and just.

Learn more about the Integrity Council.

Providing sustainable energy for all, 24/7

Decarbonising electricity is key to tackling the climate crisis. Last year we worked with SEforALL and Google to launch the Go Carbon Free campaign to transform global energy consumption to 100 per cent carbon-free sources, by galvanising global businesses, governments, cities and other organisations to act together to make 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy (CFE) a reality for everyone.

24/7 CFE means that every kilowatt-hour of electricity consumption is met with carbon-free electricity sources, every hour of every day, everywhere. 

This year the campaign continued, with the aim of encouraging organisations to join the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy (CFE) Compact – a set of principles and actions that stakeholders across the energy ecosystem can commit to in order to drive systemic change. As part of the compact, organisations will work together to develop and scale technologies, energy policies, procurement practices, and solutions to transform the broader energy system and enable rapid and cost-effective carbon-free energy.

By joining this collective effort, organisations will help to accelerate the transformation of electric grids globally and create a future where all electricity consumption worldwide is served by CFE sources.  To date, over 100 signatories have been confirmed, including the Government of Iceland, Centre for Net Zero and Microsoft. Take a look at the hero video we created to summarise the potential that 24/7 CFE holds for decarbonisation.

Learn more about Carbon-Free Energy and take a look at our toolkit.

Looking ahead

As we look to 2023, we know we will meet fresh challenges – but we also recognise the immense opportunity to continue to scale the work we do and the impact we create. We look forward to working with game-changing clients aligned to our mission – current and new – and pushing ahead towards a positive future where people and planet thrive.

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