Ogilvy is creating a better future for our our people, planet, and communities through creativity

Showing that agencies can lead by example with green practices through positive storytelling

por India Fizer , AdForum

Ogilvy New York
Publicidade/serviço completo/integração
New York, Estados Unidos
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Carol Stickler
Global Consulting Principal Ogilvy New York

Carol Stickler, Global Consulting Principal at Ogilvy Consulting in New York, is renowned for cutting through complexity to provide strategic clarity for clients. Whether B2B, technology, industry or financial services or complex global portfolio brands, she is proven to bring incisive thinking and actionable strategies.

A pioneer who loves to explore new strategic frontiers, Carol leads the Sustainability Practice for Ogilvy. A graduate from Cambridge University’s ‘Business of Sustainability Management’, she advises businesses on the many ways to unlock growth from sustainability.


How are you advising clients on sustainable messaging and product development?

At Ogilvy Consulting we see sustainability as a business strategy that protects a corporation’s license to operate long term. Many businesses are still wrestling with operationalizing sustainability and we help clients do so by first and foremost integrating it into their brand and marketing strategies. We define the strategic role for sustainability by understanding the relevance of sustainability to different stakeholders – this includes current and future employees, customers and suppliers, but also regulators and investors. Then we explore how a corporation’s sustainability efforts are or could be differentiated versus competitors.

By first clarifying the strategic role we want sustainability to play at the corporate and portfolio level, it becomes easier to make decisions around things like investment in product innovation or the nature of sustainability messaging. This in turn reduces the risk of greenwashing and ensures corporations are credible in their communication, and can build a pipeline of tangible sustainable initiatives and products.


Have you implemented any sustainability initiatives in your own workflow?  If so, can you tell us what steps other agencies can take to lead by example and adopt sustainable practices within their own operations?

As part of WPP, Ogilvy participates in a vast network effort to unlock better futures for our people, planet, clients and communities through the power of creativity. For each of these four commitment areas, we’ve developed specific strategies, goals and metrics.

For instance, the shift from individual agency offices to WPP offices is enabling us to commit to net zero campuses, powered by renewable electricity by 2025. Through initiatives like the green claims guide and media channel carbon calculator, we are providing clients with the tools to help them meet their sustainability ambitions.

Agencies need to lead by example to retain and recruit talent (Gen Z will accept nothing less). Plus we can only be truly credible in advising clients on their sustainability strategy if we have also considered how we can mitigate our own negative impacts and accelerate positive ones.


In what ways can agencies help promote sustainable practices and drive meaningful change towards environmental protection?

Today there is a significant gap between consumers’ stated desire to be more sustainable and their actual behaviors, typically in the range of 70-80%. Many consumers need help to understand what are sustainable products, to appreciate the benefit of making this choice, to use and dispose of the product in a way that minimizes any negative impacts, and to feel rewarded about continuing to make sustainable choices.

An agency like Ogilvy has the expertise to address these behavior change challenges. By employing tools like behavioral science, we can identify what will motivate indviduals to change and through creative storytelling we can inspire them to do so. We won’t succeed by telling people what they ought to do, but by persuading them that it is in their short- and long-term interest.

Agencies can also play an important role with clients in helping them understand the corporate landscape with regard to sustainability. Beyond risk mitigation, we can help identify where investing in sustainability can be a source of differentiation and growth versus competitors.

For instance, we’ve helped clients reframe their value proposition to their B2B customers. These customers wanted more sustainable suppliers to meet their own sustainability commitments and were prepared to invest in suppliers who helped them achieve these. We have also helped B2C brands realize the price premium or greater lifetime value that can be achieved through sustainable innovation. For instance, working with a famous sports club to integrate sustainability into their offer to sponsors, thereby adding inherent value to their sponsorship rights.


What is your POV on advertising’s responsibility to take action in shifting consumer preferences towards eco-conscious practices, brands, and products?

As an industry, we have a huge responsibility to help better educate consumers, but also wider stakeholders, on the need to be more sustainable – and motivate them to change their behavior to ensure this outcome. We also have the opportunity to work more with our clients to develop superior sustainable products and services. Consumers want sustainable solutions that are as good or better than their current choices, with the added reassurance that it is not doing damage to the planet.

Becoming more sustainable is a journey – neither clients nor consumers are changing overnight, but agencies can support both groups and help them navigate the journey together. We worked on an immersive state-of-the-art exhibition, Blue Paradox, to educate people on the scale of the ocean plastics crisis, but also get below the surface of this problem. The exhibit explores the challenges in tackling plastic pollution, the progress that is being made, and illuminates the commitments and actions individuals can take to make a difference.

Finally I think we all, whether we work in advertising or not, have a responsibility to be part of a wider discourse on sustainability. We are starting to mitigate the worst impacts of our modern lifestyles, but we also need to consider which aspects are not tenable long term. It’s a highly complex subject that needs rigor and lateral thinking to get to the best possible outcome. That’s something anyone can participate in.