The importance that pharma firms place on shrinking their carbon footprint has resulted in comms teams increasingly being asked to promote sustainability narratives, according to Axon.
To respond, the agency has launched an offering, led by Lucy Hagger, which brings together its expertise in healthcare, comms and sustainability to support clients' in-house comms teams.
“We believe many companies are still taking their internal colleagues on a journey to have more sustainable activities, so some of our focus is on helping them with employee education, engagement and behaviour change by crafting bold and purpose-driven communications narratives,” Hagger said.
“When a company is trying to move [to] paperless, carless or carbon neutral [operations], these aren’t easy internal changes. There are also opportunities to better address inclusivity in clinical trials, or even within their own employee base,” she added.
The new group, launched last week, will draw on other parts of Axon as needed. One example of this will be deploying the agency’s insights team to carry out stakeholder mapping, or getting its clinical trials specialists involved where clients are seeking greater diversity and inclusivity in their trials.
“As healthcare communications specialists, we are driven by science, and the science is clear: the world needs rapid and wide-reaching action to protect the planet, people and economies,” Hagger said.
“It’s critical that the healthcare sector takes a leading role in this global priority, and therefore sustainable development needs to be integrated into the fabric of organisations – their objectives, operations and culture. Communications can facilitate and accelerate this change,” she added.
Striking the right balance
Hagger said: “We’re encouraging the health sector to be brave and communicate more proactively around its sustainability efforts while striking the right balance between ambition and achievability, and avoiding greenwashing at all costs.”
Axon is 32nd in PRWeek’s Top 150 UK PR consultancies in 2020, with annual revenue of £10.5m. It is sixth in the ranking of healthcare firms within the Top 150.
When it comes to the sustainability of its own operations, Axon said it uses 100 per cent renewable electricity at its London and Copenhagen offices, and sends zero waste to landfill from its London office.
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