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How Will You Invest in the Planet this Earth Day?

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Selina Donald, global sustainability director at Momentum Worldwide reflects on the industry's need to move towards a circular economy to really make a difference in the fight against climate change

How Will You Invest in the Planet this Earth Day?

Every year more than one billion people around the globe celebrate Earth Day, an awareness campaign that started in 1970 with over a million people protesting in the US over the damage being done to the planet. Over those 52 years, it has grown to be one of the biggest environmental protest movements on the planet. While awareness has grown, what’s most alarming is that so has the crisis at hand.

Today we’re faced with the biggest challenge known to mankind: transform the world to net zero emissions by 2050 or face catastrophic results. The IPCC (a group of the world’s leading climate scientists) have confirmed it’s ‘now or never’ and, for the scale and speed required, we need ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented change’ across every industry.  

One of the most significant ways that our industry can support this transition is by rethinking the way we create, design and deliver work for our clients. Up to now, we’ve followed a linear approach, create-use-throw away, building expansive sets and staging that are used for a day, using and wasting valuable resources, and generating tons of food and material waste annually. It is thought that 80% of these adverse environmental impacts could be avoided if more responsible decisions were made at design stage.   

Drawing on the concept of the circular economy, we can change our impact. In its simplest explanation, a circular model designs out waste and pollution during a product’s lifecycle entirely; it reuses or recycles all materials in an endless loop, keeping assets out of the environment (and landfill) and in the economy. The circular economy is the world’s largest opportunity, with the potential to unlock $4.5 trillion in economic growth.  

At Momentum, we recently launched our Make it Matter Manifesto. Make it Matter is our purpose-driven strategy that puts environmental considerations at the heart of every decision we make across supply chains, processes, people and materials. We’ve set ambitious goals to reduce our carbon and waste footprint, work with like-minded vendors, and we’re 'green-skilling' our teams with the knowledge to understand and implement circular principles when it comes to creating work for our clients.  

Most recently, we’ve produced two projects for the world’s leading brands with reuse and durability at the forefront of our process. For Verizon, we’ve created a modular pop-up stand that will be used at over 2,000 events across the US over several years. Meanwhile, in Texas, we built an experience for Coca-Cola using reclaimed shipping containers and recyclable material that will be reused for the next five years at minimum. This is just the start. We’re working with our clients to look at how we can close the loop on material usage, innovate off-the-shelf assets, hire instead of building, and explore ways that we can reduce our travel and transportation emissions. We know that there is a long way to go in a short space of time and partnerships across our vendor and client network are key to driving our shared sustainability success. 

A global shift to circularity is key to reducing emissions and driving the global transition to net zero forward. Marketers are essential to the global transformation. We’re the wordsmiths, the creatives, the pioneers, the Pied Pipers. Our work influences consumer behaviour, we bring thousands of people together for shared experiences, and we have the ability to reach every country, city, town and home around the globe. We have immense power across so many stages and we must harness it in the right way to change the world for the better.

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Momentum Worldwide, Wed, 20 Apr 2022 14:12:30 GMT