Telling an environmental story of hope

At a time when headlines about the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity are rarely out of the news, there’s a story of hope waiting to be told by journalists and communications professionals and discovered by ESG investors.

Scientists are finding that land restoration can profoundly benefit communities, the environment, and even reverse the effects of climate change. Results include improved soil health, increased biodiversity, the return of native wildlife species, and the removal of carbon from the atmosphere.

The Meaningful team recently supported a journalist-only webinar to explore this exciting topic, hosted by the Resilience Media Project at The Earth Institute, Columbia University. Speakers included noted environmental author Judith D. Schwartz and ecologist John D. Liu, founder and chair of Ecosystem Restoration Camps, an international non-profit.

Still from the Webinar

“It’s empowering for people,” says Liu, “It raises them from desperate poverty and gives them agency. Because they are involved in the restoration, it allows them to see they are the method which changes their situation.”

Although land restoration alone cannot solve all the problems currently facing the natural world, it is quickly becoming a major tool for ecologists, farmers, and investors. But before a story of hope can be told, communities need to understand what restoration projects might mean for marginal lands in their area.

If people don’t know what’s possible, how can we begin to envision it?

“If people don’t know what’s possible, how can we begin to envision it?” says Schwartz. “Journalists can really offer a service in telling stories of how people are able to heal the landscapes of their communities.”

While large scale projects are an important piece of the puzzle, restoration can and does happen on a much smaller scale. In urban areas, the use of permeable footpaths can help to control runoff and flooding. Green roofs can help to retain water that otherwise would wash quickly down storm drains, and they also help to reduce the ‘heat island effect’ that keeps cities as much as 10 degrees warmer in the summer. And former brownfield sites can be reclaimed and turned into sustainable housing. In other words, restoration projects can be found everywhere – it’s just a case of knowing where to look.

A blog about land restoration is now available from the Earth Institute, including a complete writeup of the webinar plus some useful resources for journalists, PRs and ESG investors wanting to learn more. 

Access the webinar, blog and journalist resources
Real estate

Boris says build, build, build. We ask what, when & why?

In July Boris Johnson announced government plans for a “New Deal”, promising to pump £5bn into infrastructure projects to ‘build, build, build’ our way out of a post-coronavirus recession. The launch was accompanied by a loud fanfare, but was quiet on the detail.

Sparked by this, we curated a guest list of 6 experts from across the property sector and invited them to a roundtable discussion to fill in the gaps. The event was hosted by our client, Davitt Jones Bould (DJB), England’s largest law firm specialising in real estate. 

Madeleine Davitt, Senior Partner, Davitt Jones Bould (Host) ­­ — Niall Bolger, Chief Executive, London Borough of Hounslow — Ray Morgan, Chief Executive, Woking Borough Council — David Partridge, Partner, Argent Property Development Services LLP — Gavin Tuck, MD, Small Back Room — Vivienne King, Chief Executive, Revo

Participants discussed their priorities for the £5bn spend, which included social housing grants, retrofitting London’s housing stock to meet CO2 emissions, and re-shaping high streets to meet the needs of communities – highlighting the importance of involving local people in this process.

Meaningful produced a white paper summarising the event, which was mailed to 6,000 DJB contacts, posted on LinkedIn and is likely to lead the firm’s marketing efforts for several months.

DJB was also interviewed about the campaign for an article in Professional Marketing magazine, which is due to be published in December.

Read the white paper here