Campaigns: CIPR Award - Corporate Responsibility - Yorkshire Water inspires green fingers

Campaign: One Million Green Fingers
Client: Yorkshire Water
PR team: In-house
Budget: Under £100,000

Yorkshire Water's corporate social responsibility campaign was launched by chef James Martin, and aims to create 350 sustainable school gardens - and 'one million green fingers' - by 2010.

Objectives:

- Create 100 school gardens in 2008

- Encourage schools to register for gardens in 2009

- Get 750 employees to take part in the campaign.

Strategy and plan

Schools were invited to apply for a sustainable garden and once partner schools were chosen, the company's internal communications channel was used to recruit volunteers. Media were invited to primary school gardens to see the volunteers in action. MPs and councillors were also invited and an event pack was sent to all participating schools encouraging them to send stories to the media.

Measurement and evaluation

The campaign generated 88 pieces of regional and national broadcast and print coverage in 2008 and there were more than 20,000 hits to the website.

Results

In total 102 gardens were created, resulting in 220,170 green-fingered schoolchildren. A total of 944 volunteers took part and more than 180 applications were received for 2009. Yorkshire Water has been asked to be part of a national task force to encourage employer-supported volunteering.

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