Climate change. Like the latest pop song, if you hear a theme too many times, even the most heart wrenching words lose their impact. Despite the impassioned pleas of polluters, journalists, politicians and action groups endured by the Australian public over the past few years, many people have stopped worrying about the ‘greatest moral challenge of our time’.

The phrase ‘sustainability’ was coined by John Elkington and Julia Hailes in 1987.  It’s been well over a decade since we started hearing about sustainability at work in the land of Oz. Re-interpreted and re-purposed, it’s started to loose its meaning. Sustainability is much more than a response climate change of course, it’s about common sense, an end to the throw-away generation and cutting costs as utility costs rise. The problem is, the message is tired. And therein lies a challenge!

Ellis Jones recently worked with the City of Melbourne internal communications and sustainability branches to create a sustainability employee awareness campaign. The sustainability team’s role is to generate awareness and understanding of the City’s sustainability goals and promote actions each individual can take within the workplace to help achieve these goals.

Key sustainability measures are built into the Enterprise Agreement (EA) for each employee. If set targets are met, a 0.5% increase is payable to every employee. Better than a kick in the bum! One of the major functions of the Sustainability Branch is to communicate what these targets are, and how they can be met.

The City of Melbourne, the Sustainability Branch and individual employees across the business have already achieved great outcomes in-line with sustainability goals. To ensure sustainability remains top-of-mind with all employees, Ellis Jones created a communication concept, key messages, program iconography and a series of materials for distribution on and offline, which highlights the achieved and upcoming targets.

Check out a selection of designs.

Stepping away from the computer for a moment, adding a more human touch, we used mixed, tangible materials to create the graphics. Felt was the star, with crushed paper and coffee cups a close second. A local Melbourne fashion and craft designer was commissioned to produce the felt icons adding a nice ‘Made in Melbourne’ story to the campaign. The icons can be made into fridge stickers and badges for the City’s Green Guardians.

It’s all about making the message real in a practical sense; standing out from other organisational materials and the sea of information we wade through in our daily lives – from the crack of dawn to when we hit the pillow.

The campaign will ensure systematic communication with employees and contractors for the next 2-3 years. The City loves the result and we loved making it happen. We would take any chance to design fun, handmade materials again!

At its essence, what the City has done is put sustainability back on the internal communications agenda in a fun and meaningful way.

At Ellis Jones we believe god is in the detail. We think deeply about how to achieve results in unique ways. And we express our social conscience through our work.

Talk to us about good communication with measureable social impact.