Wildfires are raging around the world and UN secretary general, António Guterres recently warned that “the era of global boiling has arrived". Canada is also experiencing the devastating impact of fire ravaging our land and communities this summer, making the situation feel hopeless, particularly for young people.
This is proven out by a 2021 study of 10,000 children and young people in 10 countries where nearly 60 per cent of participants said they felt “very” or “extremely” worried about climate change. Many reported eco-anxiety as affecting their daily lives. In this deepening time of despair, we cannot underestimate the power of communications campaigns to embolden young people to act and turn the tide on climate change.
At no time will this be more important than August 12, International Youth Day. This year’s theme is ‘Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World’, with the UN noting ‘a successful transition towards a greener world will depend on the development of green skills in the population’. Green skills are “knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society”.
At Strategic Objectives, our goal is to deliver original, game-changing PR campaigns that not only gain awareness but that provoke change by educating and empowering young people with the knowledge to create a better world. This approach made news and inspired action with our ‘Little Changes, Big Impact’ campaign with Maple Leaf Foods, the recipient of IABC/Toronto OVATION Awards in both Media Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility. Our tactics shared meaningful and measurable ways to turn eco-anxiety in eco-confidence, from a Green Glossary that simplified complex environmental terminology, to the development of an ‘All Taste, No Waste’ challenge with conservation organization, Earth Rangers.
We are also proud to spread good, green news for Children Believe, a Canadian charity that enables young people around the world to dream fearlessly through education. Its climate-focused education program, Generation Global teaches green skills that can transform communities, and its Believe in Girls Like Me campaign importantly highlights how educating girls is not another problem to be solved, but rather a solution to some of the world’s greatest issues, including climate change.
Strategic Objectives wholeheartedly supports the UN’s focus on green skills this International Youth Day, and every day, as we continue to tell empowering stories that move and educate Canadians. This is not a new commitment. We have supported environmental programming for many years, from over 20 spent championing the causes of The Body Shop, to planting trees with Diageo and launching electric vehicles for Kia.
Communications has the power to compel change and ignite meaningful conversation. Using this superpower to engage and secure skills for youth is a step towards a more sustainable and better world.
Laura Blott is a Sr. Account Director at Strategic Objectives.
For more information on how Strategic Objectives can help you share your commitment to sustainability, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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