Sustainability – it’s everyone’s responsibility
At Owl Live, we believe that we are the most sustainably conscious experiential agency on the planet. We don’t just take care of our own sustainability responsibilities, we help our clients deliver on their own goals, unafraid of challenging them to think differently.
- Leading by example through our own working practices
- Working with suppliers who comply with our sustainability guidelines
- Educating suppliers on how they can join our preferred sustainable supplier list
- Educating clients on how to achieve measurable results without impacting the planet
- Challenging clients to include sustainability as a standard measure of success
What does sustainability actually mean?
In 2015, all UN member states adopted The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
In short, it is about so much more than not offering single use plastic cups – although this is a no brainer!
Here are some simple quick wins to ensure that in partnership with your agency, you’re doing your bit.
Top tips for clients
Firstly, you don’t have to solve this challenge yourself, sustainability should be an integral part of your creative brief. Partner with your agency…it doesn’t need to cost the earth (pun intended).
Include in your brief a budget allowance for carbon footprint analysis and reporting. More and more at Owl Live, we’re finding brands are wanting to prove their sustainability credentials. We can help you do this, working with you to find low carbon footprint solutions and delivering clear data to share.
Food waste management isn’t hard nowadays, what is hard is managing the expectations of your attendees to want so much choice you can’t help but end up with excess food waste. Work closely with your agency to plan carefully and get the messaging right. If this is new for you, make sure you communicate in advance as well as during the live delivery, and have a plan for any leftovers. At Owl Live we work with suppliers and NGOs to share any food ‘waste’ post delivery. Your waste is someone else’s lifeline.
There are so many caterers out there offering locally sourced produce, delivered by locally sourced crew. At Owl Live we have a weighted matrix for our suppliers which has sustainability as highly prioritised as quality, creativity and value. Weigh up what is most important to you…the exotic menu full of palm oil, or the humble meal proudly supporting local.
No single use plastic
There is no excuse nowadays, from service to signage there are alternatives for every element. Start by asking yourself…do we need this? And if you do, how can you do it differently? From event tickets to beautifully designed socks with a lifetime guarantee, even your swag bag can be full of sustainable giveaways. The trick is to ask your agency to really get to know your audience so they can deliver something that has true value to them for that lasting impact.
If your first thought is recycling, think again. Challenge your agency to think about where your build materials are coming from and what they’re made of. Our preferred suppliers at Owl Live recycle the materials they’ve used on previous projects, repurposing them as often as they can. This is made even easier if your brand guidelines allow you to use raw materials in your aesthetic.
Diversity and inclusivity are top priorities here at Owl Live as they are for many businesses, and yet too often we don’t see balanced representation in speakers and panels. Your audience will engage more when they see themselves and their colleagues represented and it isn’t hard to do. Ask your agency to ensure all proposals for talent offer balanced representation.
Top tips for suppliers
As more and more agencies are being asked to support clients sustainability goals, it’s wise to stay one step ahead. If you can help us help them, you’ll see the work flow in!
Origins of materials
Make sure you know the source of all materials, including the tiny element you didn’t realise was part of that solution you’ve found. Then find a clear and simple way of sharing this information in all proposals.
Always qualify whether you can repurpose in your delivery solution, and be clear about any impurities, if any, that may be part of that offering. The agency needs to make the client aware for a fully informed decision to be made. While you’re there, check if you can keep raw materials raw to make this easier brief after brief.
Build to last
Offering creative solutions that can be repurposed time and again with simple reconfiguration or reskinning ensures a long contract for you as the professional installation company and value for money for the client.
Become the expert
Collaborate with your agency to ensure you are approaching each new brief with the attention to detail required to provide the expert advice needed. Whether advising on how much food to provide to meet the unique audience expectations without generating excess waste, to staying up to date on the latest innovations in your sector. Working together will be the fastest route to success.
Expect to be challenged
Much like we’re confident to challenge our clients, we challenge our suppliers too. Embrace the challenge in the knowledge the solution we find together will be something that puts you ahead of your competitors.
Take a look at our Top Tips for Clients section above…help us help our clients and we’ll all be able to help the planet.
Get in touch if you would like advice on how to deliver sustainable brand experiences that don’t compromise your measurements of success.