Brita goes to college in environmental initiative

OAKLAND, CA: Clorox Company's Brita launched a new national campaign to encourage students to find creative solutions to on-campus environmental issues.

OAKLAND, CA: Clorox Company's Brita launched a new national campaign to encourage students to find creative solutions to on-campus environmental issues.

As part of the “College FilterForGood Eco-Challenge” effort, which is supported by AOR Edelman, Brita will provide five college students with $10,000 grants to realize projects to create a more eco-friendly campus.

The initiative builds on Brita's ongoing “FilterForGood” campaign, which launched last year to a general audience and aims to stress sustainability and the need to reduce bottled-water waste.

Drew McGowan, senior group manager for marketing communications at Clorox, said the Eco-Challenge was developed as a result of several schools reaching out to the brand about having a more significant involvement with FilterForGood.

He also noted that college students are a strong niche demographic for Clorox, as they are demonstrated buyers of the filter and are often interested in on-campus activism.

“[To stage] the Eco-Challenge on college campuses makes sense because it is a true place of thought leadership,” said McGowan.

Susan Peters, EVP at Edelman, said that PR efforts will focus on outreach to the top 100 college newspapers, in addition to distributing an ANR over Collegiate Presswire. Branded material will also be provided for student organizations and classes.

“College students are a key audience for sustainability and we wanted to tap their passion through this challenge program,” she explained.

To further reach the demographic, Brita will integrate messaging of the Eco-Challenge into its Facebook profile page and send an alert for a proposal request.

“Since it's a pilot program, success will be measured by the number and quality of applications we received,” said McGowan. “Also, [Brita's role] doesn't end after the money is given out. We'll measure success of each individual winner's [project].”

On Earth Day in 2009, Brita will celebrate the winning project with events on the five campuses of the grant winners. Spokesman and environmentalist Josh Dorfman will take part in those festivities.

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