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Maple Leaf Foods: “Little Changes, Big Impact”

This award-winning campaign highlights Maple Leaf Foods’ commitment to environmental sustainability and provides actionable tips to fight climate change and protect the planet for future generations.

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Maple Leaf Foods is the world’s first major carbon neutral food company and is on a journey to become the most sustainable protein company on earth, yet many Canadians aren’t aware of its groundbreaking achievements. To increase awareness of its environmental sustainability initiatives and engage consumers in protecting the planet, Maple Leaf Foods and Strategic Objectives developed a multi-year communications plan to educate Canadians on how they can be better environmental champions and make a difference in their every day actions. One of our highly successful initiatives is the “Little Changes, Big Impact” campaign.

Protect Our Planet: Educate. Engage. Motivate.

Every day is Earth Day at Maple Leaf Foods. Its ongoing environmental sustainability initiatives revolve around its impact on the planet and influence on Canadians. The company recognizes that collective action and lifestyle choices are necessary to fight climate change. The “Little Changes, Big Impact” campaign was developed to encourage change by increasing understanding of environmental sustainability and providing simple actions that can make a difference. Why? Because little changes can have a big impact on the environment!

Our research revealed that environmental terminology and practices are, for the most part, confusing to Canadians. While 92% of us believe that Canadians have a duty to future generations to protect the environment, many of us don’t know where to start or how our daily decisions can help. In fact, 76% of Canadians said they would like tips and examples of little, everyday changes which benefit the environment. This research was our inspiration for “Little Changes, Big Impact.”

With Knowledge, We Can Make a Difference

We set out to drive awareness of Maple Leaf Foods’ commitment to carbon neutrality and sustainability, recognizing that Canadians are part of the environmental solution. Through consumer-focused communications, we advanced understanding of environmental issues and provided tools to help Canadians make a difference at home. Our overarching goals were to make sustainability more understandable to consumers; to showcase the little “everyday” changes we can make; and to share the positive impact a single individual can have on our planet.

Our inclusive, informative content aligned consumers with Maple Leaf Foods’ purpose to “raise the good in food,” and explained how Canadian families can make a difference.

Key elements of the awareness campaign included:

Five Powerful and Newsworthy Stories: These were communicated through a variety of tactics including media relations and influencer relations; infographics; targeted media tours with trained spokespeople; camera-ready stories for community newspapers; social media posts and blogs; and audio news releases.

  1. Green Glossary: Canadians are often confused about best practices for “going green” and don’t understand how their choices can make a difference. To clarify this, we launched an interactive Green Glossary online, on the Maple Leaf Foods’ website and via social media.  The Glossary simplified complex environmental terminology and shared family-friendly, easy-to-incorporate tips to preserve the planet.
  2. Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning and Barbecuing: Change begins at home. Our message: spring cleaning isn’t just about throwing away; it’s about reusing and recycling. And we can start by choosing products produced with intentional respect for the environment. To help Canadians be greener when grilling, Maple Leaf Foods’ in-house chef shared eco-friendly grilling practices and recipes, elevating the concept of up-cooking and using leftovers to reduce waste.
  3. Litterless Lunches: From ideas for last night’s leftovers, to perfect portioning and wrapper-free snack suggestions, we shared waste-free lunch tips in time for back-to-school season.
  4. Little Changes Day: We created a day of collective action and challenged families to join us in the “Little Changes Home Challenge” which featured tips and tricks for every room in the house. This day also offered the opportunity to celebrate Maple Leaf Foods’ corporate achievements in sustainability.
  5. “All Taste, No Waste” Earth Rangers Collaboration: Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization that transforms children’s concerns about the environment into positive action. We collaborated on an “All Taste, No Waste” challenge and accompanying cookbook to inspire families into action.

Showcasing Sustainability: Walking the Walk

  • Maple Leaf Foods’ “Little Changes, Big Impact” campaign won 2023 IABC/Toronto OVATION Awards in both Media Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Earned Print and Broadcast Impressions included 70+ million impressions and 10+ TV appearances (almost 10 times industry standard of success)
  • Nearly 10,000 children used our fun resources to learn about sustainability and log more than 119,000 new, sustainable food habits. This is equivalent to saving 19,192 plates of food from landfill -- enough to provide lunch for one person for 53 years!
  • Achieved 100% positive, branded coverage and CSR recognition in the media: “Maple Leaf Foods has clearly demonstrated that it is not only talking the talk but walking it too.” – Strategy Magazine

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Does your brand need help cutting through the clutter? Are you looking for fresh thinking and modern storytelling that gets results? Please contact us to see if we might collaborate on award-winning campaigns in the future. We can’t wait to get started!

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