In just one week, together we reached more than 24 million people around the world and spread the word about the urgency to take immediate climate action. The main campaign site tfca.earth inspired and helped thousands of individuals to do so in just under 5 minutes. In this blog post, we will summarize the measures and actions done during the week, celebrate the achievements and take a look into the future!

Concept

It all started more than a year ago with the question “What else can our member companies do for the climate, apart from reducing their own emissions?”. One of the superpowers of digital services is their wide audience, so we decided to launch a brand new public campaign with the aim to engage millions of people in climate action. As the main principle we took the “Lead by example” approach and set quite high requirements for companies to take part. While most of the participating companies are not 100% sustainable, they all have pledged to minimize their carbon footprint, put sustainability goals high on their agenda, and have a proven track of climate protection efforts. They are either climate neutral already or have pledged to become climate neutral by the end of the year, at least on an operational level. Additionally, they have implemented multiple reduction measures to date, and have a clear climate protection strategy for the rest of 2021. The companies involved in this campaign are publicly and transparently disclosing all of these efforts on the campaign page. As the main driver of change we’ve chosen time. We believe that time, not money, is the most powerful resource we all have. And although time is running out, we can still use it wisely. We’ve asked companies to set ambitious climate protection goals and allocate sufficient time budgets to reach them - through setting regular meetings, appointing climate officers, and including climate protection topics in regular strategic sessions. Correspondingly, we’ve asked individuals to do the same: take 5 minutes right now to take impactful actions on the campaign page, but do not limit to this and keep allocating time to help the planet, for example by taking an hour to talk to their colleagues about sustainable solutions for your workplace, taking a week to learn more about travel destinations in their local areas, or taking a month to build up a cycling habit.

Outreach

In the beginning of 2021 we hosted a kick-off event for our community members with the goal to find 100 companies who would commit to support this new initiative. The feedback was very positive and we received more than 300 applications! In the end, an amazing amount of more than 200 companies with a customer base of 500 million people committed to join the campaign and fulfil all of the campaign requirements. Even more, we’ve got some strong additional support from more than 40 celebrities and influencers (from Cro to Eckart von Hirschhausen) joined forces with our community and shared personal videos about our campaign and their own sustainability journey on Earth Day. Their impact has been very valuable - they combine an audience of more than 6 million people. In addition, German billboard company Stroeer showed our ads throughout Germany in public places - train stations and shopping malls – and achieved an overall of 43 million contacts from 19th-25th of April, out of which at least 1 million people were engaged in the topic. Facebook and eBay Kleinenzeigen supported the initiative with ad credits that helped us to reach out to more than 1 million people personally.

Results

The feedback was very positive - from the audience, media, and climate experts. Sifted highlighted us at the top of their list of best Earth Day campaigns this year, recognizing the great potential of TFCA to make a difference: "The best Earth Day campaigns involve driving collective action, and calling for changes bigger than a single organization can create alone".

During the Campaign Week, all the participating companies used a broad range of different approaches and channels to promote our joint cause. In fact, it’s impossible to describe each and every activity that happened during the campaign week. Literally, every action that we had suggested at the start of the TFCA campaign was picked up by companies who made it into a reality in their own creative way. To give you just a sense of it: - Spotify and Tier used product integration or in-app notifications to direct users to our campaign page straight from their apps; - Personio and Blacklane had prominent banners on their login screens for the whole week, Ecosia and Idealo had full-screen banners on their homepages; - Tech Founders and Breega held inspiring events; - Flixbus and BlaBlaCar created educational materials raising awareness about climate-friendly mobility solutions; - Zattoo and Fashion Cloud planted trees to reward their customers; - Shop Apotheke Europe and Cabify helped us to get published in prominent media outlets; - Home24 and Forto pro-actively engaged their team members and recorded videos with them; - Right. and Ledgy suggested free services for members of our community and other organizations that care about the planet; And there’s so much more! Let’s dive deeper into the impact of these measures:

The biggest impact came from the campaign banners on the participating companies’ websites and apps. 13.105.724 people have seen them alongside the different service and product offers of our community. Many of them highlighted specific sustainable features of their products and services, offered discounts for climate-friendly alternatives, planted trees for certain amounts of purchases or account creations and shared their sustainability journey via blog articles or short videos. On top of that, many companies shared educational materials on their website or hosted industry-specific Webinars during Earth Week. A total of 62.424 people engaged in climate action discussions during the campaign and learned about sustainable business approaches. Even though this number might not look as impressive as others, the reduction potential for business contacts is much bigger than that of individuals.

Social Media has been one of the most important channels to drive actions during the campaign: all of the participating companies have posted some exceptional content on their Social Media (Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) and used a variety of customized approaches to do so. Together, they spread the word to a remarkable amount of 4.730.714 users via Social Media. The official hashtags of the campaign #TimeForClimateAction #5minsForThePlanet have been used in more than 10.000 posts over the duration of the week on Social Media. With added impact of influencers support and Facebook credits, in total more than 6,5 million of people were reached.

Another important contribution to the campaign have been the newsletters sent out by many of the participating companies. We have seen a broad range of unique approaches to reach out to the (both internal & external) recipients here as well. The information that was shared varied from general info about climate action to company-specific contributions and goals to help the planet. Altogether, those Newsletters were opened by 2.886.838 users by now.

The center of the campaign has been the campaign site tfca.earth. Individuals are (still!) able to take a variety of different simple - yet impactful - measures to climate action. It is accessible in 5 different languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Turkish. To date, we have more than 182.000 visitors on the campaign page and more than 13.000 actions completed. The most frequently used has been the calculation of the personal footprint, followed by mails to politicians and switching to a green energy supplier. More than 30% of the visitors started to engage with at least one of the actions and 5% finished an average of two.

Next steps

To wrap things up: being our first and completely independent public campaign, we are happy with the results of the first round. We consider it as a good starting point, see a huge potential for growth, and we’re already preparing to launch the Time for Climate Action campaign on a global scale and offering even more solutions both for companies and individuals. A huge shout out to all our team members, volunteers, editors, media outlets and countless others who helped us to realize this large-scale project. We could not have done (and keep doing) it without you! It was great to feel this real community spirit and prove that climate action can be done jointly on an individual-, business- and large-scale level – if we all join forces! Still, our journey has just begun. The climate crisis remains the most urgent and pressing issue humanity faces – and the clock is ticking. Even though campaigns like this can create awareness about effective solutions, we need to further implement sustainability in our daily lives, spread the word in our private and business networks, set ambitious goals and pressure politicians – all year long! Let’s keep up the pace!