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How charities are using comms to create environmental crisis change

1 April 2022

World events, and the social issues of the times we live in affect us all in different ways. And as charity communicators, we see the impact of these things not just on a personal level but also through the lens of those we directly and indirectly support. Our challenge is to help communicate the reality of what is happening in such a way as to help drive positive change.

The environmental crisis is one such issue which impacts us all no matter who we are, or what our charity’s core purpose may be. It is also one that we can play a vital role in helping communicate about.

Here’s some of the ways we’ve spotted charities talking about the environmental crisis in inspiring ways that connect with their specific causes…

Whale and Dolphin Conservation – The Green Whale

As a charity dedicated to the protection of whales and dolphins you would expect this charity’s comms to be focused around the preservation of these amazing mammals. But they have also created specific comms under a ‘Green Whale’ banner to raise awareness of the important role whales play as “an ally in the fight against climate change” too. With a clear and simple message that ‘protecting whales is protecting the climate’ it’s a win-win in terms of inspiring audiences to support their core cause and take positive action against the environmental crisis at the same time.

CARE International – GenZero

CARE is a charity that fights poverty and injustice around the world and supports those living in the most vulnerable of places. What you may not know is that they have also set up a carbon offsetting service – GenZero – which raises awareness of, and supports, the many communities they work with who are on the frontline of the climate emergency. The messaging behind the innovative GenZero project cuts right to the chase highlighting how the environmental crisis is impacting those who actually have the lowest carbon footprint, making their situations even more vulnerable.

FareShare – Fight food waste, protect our planet

A food waste charity fighting hunger by redistributing surplus food, FareShare are also communicating to the public how food waste also has an environmental impact. How? By utilising a range of stats around greenhouse gas emissions, water wastage and food poverty. Put simply this charity joins the dots showing how the issues they are tackling link to wider global issues. In their own words: “Redistributing good, fresh surplus food to charities allows us to avoid both needless waste and needless hunger.”

Martlets – Working to protect our environment statement

A local charity whose primary purpose is providing terminally ill people with care and support, it’s interesting to see how Martlets are communicating about the environmental crisis. During COP26 the hospice care charity shared a four-step approach they are taking to reduce their own environmental impact. Showing that no matter what your charity’s focus there are ways to play a part in addressing wider social issues. From sharing the thinking behind their bee-friendly garden and reducing waste at charity shops, to talking about using a more eco-friendly search engine and encouraging sustainable travel, there is an openness and practicality to this statement that makes you want to get involved.

The above are just a few examples of how different types of charities are communicating about how the environmental crisis actually impacts on their cause areas too. But we would love to hear more. Get in contact if you’d like to give a shout out to a charity that you think is great at communicating these intersecting issues too.

Also, don’t forget to join us for the upcoming CharityComms conference: ‘Communicating to create change: tackling the environmental crisis’

Interesting further reading:

Banner Image: Daniel Olah on Unsplash

Christine Fleming

Head of digital content, CharityComms

Christine is the head of digital content at CharityComms in charge of the commissioning and editing of all content on the site as well as leading on the project management of the new look best practice guides. A former journalist with a background in online news, she has a masters in Global Media and Transnational Communications and is passionate about comms and helping charity communications thrive.