Sustainable work 'not a priority' for three in four creatives – survey

Just 26 per cent of creatives consider sustainability to be a priority when producing work, new research suggests.

Goodfest's Matt Hocking wants to 'unite the sector' in pushing for change
Goodfest's Matt Hocking wants to 'unite the sector' in pushing for change

The survey of 255 marcomms creatives, by FindOutNow, identified their top priorities as collaboration (45 per cent), innovation (39 per cent) and cost (38 per cent).

The research was produced for Goodfest, the festival for creatives exploring sustainable change.

Organisers this year plan to create a Sustainable Creative Manifesto allowing designers, artists, product developers, agencies and more to pledge action to make their work more sustainable, from the creation stage onwards. The UK Design Council estimates that over 80 per cent of a product’s ecological impact is determined during the design phase.

Matt Hocking, co-founder of Goodfest and founder of Leap, the B Corp design agency, said: "Despite so many initiatives, manifestos, declarations and more out there, there isn’t an uncomplicated, no-nonsense set of principles for all who create to embrace and drive change."

Hocking, who recently joined brand activism agency Don’t Cry Wolf as non-executive director – sustainable delivery, added: "Our simple aim with the Sustainable Creative Manifesto is to unite the sector around some co-created principles that everyone can use to challenge themselves, their clients and their role in society.”

Goodfest said the Manifesto will be crowdsourced at the event and launched on a low-carbon website that produces just 0.01g CO2 per page view, which is said to be 98 per cent cleaner than the industry standard. It will provide clear action as well as a destination to commit to a new way of approaching design and creation that puts sustainability first, Goodfest stated.

The event debuted in 2019 to "inspire sustainable change through purposeful ideas and actions". The 2021 iteration is funded by Cultivator Cornwall, the business development programme that supports the county's creative sector, and CLASH (Cornwall’s Climate and Sustainability Hive), in partnership with the University of Plymouth. It is sponsored by Don’t Cry Wolf, which opened an office in Cornwall this summer.

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