Category Archives: Featured

Wilful Press Release

WILFUL AGENCY LAUNCHES WITH CLIMATE INNOVATION FOCUS

Communications taskforce to support low carbon, regenerative economy

19 October 2021, London

Wilful is a new agency that works at the intersection of tech innovation and sustainability to help clients amplify and scale solutions to the climate emergency.

The agency is built on the merger of its founding taskforce members, Cherish and Gong Communications. The agency works internationally from its London HQ with established partner networks in Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. Digital agency Loud and start-up specialist Little Bear join brand design agency Made With and Gong Creative in the launch taskforce line-up with the additional sustainability expertise of author and brand strategist, John Grant. Wilful’s Chair is Mike Rowe, founder of digital agency group 1000Heads.

The agency launch co-incides with an unprecedented global push to find solutions to the climate emergency and more sustainable ways of living. Investment capital is being funneled to fund climate innovation across all sectors with sustainable food and mobility overtaking renewable energy.
In the first half of 2021:

  • Private equity firms have raised more than $180 billion of climate finance
  • VC funding for climate tech topped $16bn
  • COP26 host Boris Johnson is redoubling efforts to secure £100bn a year in climate funding for developing countries.

 

And in October, the EU launched its first green bond, the world’s largest to date, raising €12bn to finance member nations’ environmental initiatives.

Wilful co-founders Rebecca Oatley and Narda Shirley navigated the last period of rapid innovation and disruption together in the early 2000s at PR agency Gnash, when the internet inspired a generation of entrepreneurs to challenge the status quo. Wilful is their new joint venture, drawing on their extensive combined experience working principally in digital disruption, finance, development and sustainability.

Commenting on the market, Rebecca noted, “We are in another phase of rapid technology innovation with capital chasing game changing ideas and visionary entrepreneurs. This time, the stakes are much higher, we need to help the most promising innovations to find their audiences to successfully make the leap to a sustainable low carbon future.”

Wilful Co-Founder, Narda Shirley added, “Organisations that are gearing up for the transition to a low carbon future need a communications partner that can keep pace with the speed of change and the ability to react quickly to opportunities without compromising on the quality of the advice. Reassuringly, we are seeing plenty of brilliant innovations out there already, from big corporates as well as from start-ups. The challenge now is to help the best ones get to scale, which is where we believe communications has a key role to play.”

Some of Wilful’s recent work includes support for carbon removal marketplace, Puro.earth, seaweed bio-refinery and industry catalyser Oceanium, and Unreasonable Group, building community between entrepreneurs, investors and institutions to solve pressing global problems.

ABOUT WILFUL
Wilful is a new kind of communications agency that works at the intersection of innovation and sustainability to amplify the ideas solving the world’s biggest problems. The Wilful team is on a mission to help clients in the transition to a low carbon, regenerative economy.

Wilful’s task force approach blends disciplines to deliver an agile and adaptable client service drawing on the expertise of two well established agencies with a complementary focus: Cherish with its track record of working with mass market digital disruptors and Gong with its focus on corporate and B2B, often in sustainable development.

Headquartered in London, Wilful has a global network of partners: in Africa it is anchored by Gong’s business in Kenya and in Europe and the US it is represented by Over There, the group of independent agencies that Cherish co-founded.

Contact:
Jo Hooke: Jo.Hooke@thewilful.com
Richa Kundnani: Richa.Kundnani@thewilful.com

Gong tapped for Danone and B Lab Employee Engagement brief

The first free eLearning tool for the B Corporation (B Corp) community has officially launched on the B Corp Way 

This resource can be used by companies which are either already certified as B Corps or are in the process of becoming one. Certified B Corps are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.  

The eLearning tool began life as a bespoke course for Danone, one of the largest multinational corporations to commit to B Corp certification. Created by Gong Communications, in collaboration with Danone and B Lab, it can now be purpose built for any B Corp to build awareness and understanding among employees.  

For Danone, the tool has proved critical in making sure its 100,000 employees understand the company’s B Corp ambition and get behind it, whatever role they might play in the business.  

Danone has been partnering with B Lab – the non-profit organisation accrediting B Corp certification – since 2015 to help define a B Corp process suitable for publicly listed multinationals.  

Alexandra Heaven, Global B Corp Manager at Danone, who led the project, outlines the aim of the programme: “The B Corp movement is about using business as a force for good. It informs choices we make every day at a corporate and an individual level. We are helping 100,000 people at Danone, who are either already in a certified subsidiary, or on the way to certification, to understand how and why the movement is relevant to them. Gong helped us to develop a really comprehensive internal engagement tool – an e-learning programme – that allowed us to educate all our employees on our B Corp mission, regardless of position or how far through their B Corp journey the company is. Gong also helped us to create an internal comms toolkit to support our subsidiaries in promoting the programme to their employees. Since launching six months ago, we have had over 1,500 employees voluntarily complete the course. This course has proved invaluable in getting employees on board and committed to the B Corp movement.”   

Katie Hill, B Lab Europe CEO, added: “We first selected Gong for this brief because everyone there was excited by the challenge of building accessible and entertaining content. This product will work consistently for people from different companies, cultures and languages who may not have been in the front line of certification, but who are crucial to our ability to bring about real lasting impact. Having gone through the certification process themselves, Gong can relate to the opportunity for companies large and small to embed the B Corp movement into company culture. We are delighted with the results and are sure it will be an invaluable tool for existing and aspiring B Corp employees.”  

The initial four ‘core’ modules are designed to be accessible to all organisations, regardless of size and business model, and are currently available in English, French, Spanish (EU) and Spanish (LatAM).  

  • Module 1: B Introduced – What is the B Corp movement and why is it so relevant now? 
  • Module 2: B Certified – What is involved in B Corp certification? 
  • Module 3: B Inspired – Stories from across the B Corp community 
  • Module 4: B Part of the Movement – How you can be an active member of the B Corp movement and what resources are available to you? 


The additional two bespoke modules can be tailored by Gong to reflect any company’s needs and ambitions.  
 

  • Module 5: B Corp for [Company name] – How your company vision and values align with your B Corp mission  
  • Module 6: B Corp at [Company name] – How your employees can actively engage in B Corp activities in their day-to-day roles 

Hannah Hughes, project lead at Gong, which is a B Corp itself, said: “There is a great sense of pride and purpose that comes from working for a B Corp. We are trying to capture and convey that in this project, over and above the clear vision that already shapes B Lab and Danone’s reputation so positively. We are thrilled to have been trusted with such an important task and are looking forward to working with B Corps and future B Corps to further the movement.” 

For further information about the e-learning course, please visit: https://gongcommunications.com/about/b-corp-elearning-platform/  

Zambia Forward

By Vinesh Parmar, in Lusaka

Amongst the economic malaise of the last few years, it seemed as though the Zambian flag had been flying at half-mast. In contrast, the fish eagle soared high above a crowded Hero’s Stadium in the capital Lusaka as newly elected president Hakainde Hichilema was sworn in.

Attendees at the presidential inauguration had packed wings of the venue by 7am. Seems like Zambians can be on time, especially for moments of this magnitude. Again demonstrated ahead of the general election, some voters turned up at polling stations five hours before they opened.

It was those early signs that had the nation feeling that we were on the cusp of change. Voter turnout was at historic highs, as Zambians turned up with camping chairs in anticipation of long queues. The will of the people would be delivered at the ballot box, a triumph and protection of a democracy the country was once renowned for.

As the result was confirmed in the early hours of Monday 16th August, the nation would prepare for its third peaceful transition of political power. The masses took to the streets, dancing in jubilation as the sun began to rise on a new dawn.  The markets seemed to feel the same, with the local currency, the kwacha, gaining almost instinctively against the dollar.

Reaction of the wider regional and international community was equally upbeat. Together we reveled in the history of the country’s largest election victory, by votes. A victory for all Africa as one of the continent’s beacons of democracy again placed their faith in, and were rewarded by, the electoral process.

Through social media, where the election was arguably decided, messages of positivity poured in from all corners of this very young continent. The youth of Africa took note of how decisive their vote could be. This served in many ways as confirmation that Zambia will rebuild itself for generations of tomorrow, while hopefully inspiring others around us to do the same.

When President Hichilema addressed the nation, once confirmed as the president-elect, what stood out was his projection of values. Ahead of the 2016 general election, I had the privilege of being invited to Mr Hichilema’s residence to interview him for my university dissertation. Against a backdrop of opulence, a result of his business success, was a most humble man.

Welcoming, respectful, and gracious, he valued our time and played his role as host very well, even shifting the patio furniture we were sat on into the shade, away from the scorching mid-summer sun.

President Hichilema’s appointment is a significant reminder of the importance of people power and a landmark moment for Zambian and African democracy.

Zambia forward.

Top four challenges when running a virtual event – and how to solve them

Whether it’s a product launch, media briefing or industry-wide festival, devising and executing a memorable event is often a key element of an effective communications campaign.

But events can be fraught occasions, with unforeseen circumstances around every corner. Comms professionals need to be able to think on their feet and adapt quickly to a changing environment. When Covid-19 hit, with its successive lockdowns and restrictions on gatherings, event organisers faced a new test altogether.

This was certainly the case for Lloyd’s of London’s flagship insurance diversity and inclusion festival, Dive In. A Gong client since its inception in 2015, the event has grown from being hosted in just one country with 1,762 attendees to 32 countries and 10,296 participants in 2019.

Having gone from strength to strength, Dive In organisers were determined that Covid-19 would not spell the end of the festival’s success. The event was moved over to a virtual platform in 2020, resulting in its greatest success to date – running across six continents with over 140 events in 35 countries, hosting 30,153 participants. It taught us a few things about delivering virtual events. Here are some answers to the most common four challenges.

Challenge 1: How do I engage my audience at a virtual event or on a virtual platform?

Speakers or moderators are accustomed to the immediate feedback provided by the audience – notably from body language. Without that luxury on a virtual platform, here are some ways to trigger engagement:

  • Use virtual tools, such as asking for questions, comments, and polls that are linked to a graphic that displays on the screen
  • Engage audiences and promote active discussions by using digital whiteboards
  • Supercharge events with rivalry by carefully curating your speakers – for example, if an event is focused on a specific topic, invite those from competing industries to provide a more charged debate.

 

Challenge 2: How do I make sure people will attend my virtual event or meeting?

This is the fear of every event organiser – after all the hard work setting up the logistics, and inviting attendees, will the registrants actually turn up? Our top tips:

  • Make sure that once they have signed up to your virtual event, attendees are invited to instantly place it in their diary by clicking through a calendar link.
  • Send a reminder email before the event and as it begins – and a link to watch it after the event, to ensure maximum views.
  • Link your event to topical days or weeks of the year to keep them at the front of registrants’ minds. If you are running an international event, think about local awareness days that might be applicable too. Use social media assets to boost visibility of the link between the awareness day and your event.

 

Challenge 3: What is the best format for a virtual event?

There is always a place for a panel discussion with a well-curated set of guests and a good moderator (like a top journalist). However, if any format is overdone, attendees can be easily disengaged, especially if the panel format does not attract high-profile speakers. Consider the following:

  • A short video with a knowledgeable speaker talking over and/or after the images are shown.
  • A TED-style speech, filmed with distance between the speaker and the virtual audience.
  • Take to social media and consider an Instagram Live event to keep things more personal and intimate.

 

Challenge 4: How do I make my virtual event memorable?

Making a virtual event memorable is the holy grail for all event organisers. Here are our top tips:

  • Embrace Fun
    • Even if you are running a B2B event, it is still important to create a sense of fun to boost attendance and visibility. Can you create a visually engaging video? Take time to consider your opening speaker or moderator – are they suitably interesting?
  • Harness Cultural Assets
    • Broaden the scope of your event by taking it into the real world too. Adding in cultural assets can open up an event to audiences outside of your initial key target area and attract a broader visibility. For example, consider a cultural interlude during virtual events by hiring notable or local artists to perform spoken word, or commission a topical poem around your event core themes.
    • Offer pre-event giveaways with a reminder of the timings of your event to keep it front of mind.

 

Remember – you need to monitor and report on attendee numbers and engagement at all of your events to understand the impact they have had.

A checklist for planning a virtual event

Carbon briefing 101

As a sustainability-focused business, we are often reminded that ours is an industry heavily laden with acronyms and terminology.

With now just four months to go until the start of COP26, we have created an introductory guide to all things carbon, including a glossary of terms, a brief history to COP26, an introduction to some of the major players, interesting climate change facts, and some small challenges that we can all take on in the fight against climate change.

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Navigating Financial Net Zero Alliances 

Building a global zero emissions economy to cut back greenhouse gas emissions is going to mean upending how countless businesses operate and cost trillions of dollars – a daunting task. Fortunately, financial firms are clearly taking the matter seriously, banding together into alliances to better address the problem. Financial net zero alliances hit the headlines again in April this year as former Bank of England governor Mark Carney – now the UK Finance Advisor for COP26 and the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance – launched the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (or GFANZ).  

Corralling the mighty weight of over 160 firms, GFANZ is doing essential work in the race towards carbon neutrality. Yet it is not alone – delve deeper into its connections and we learn that it was co-founded by the Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). This in turn joins three further initiatives – and as we looked further, we became embroiled in an intertwined web of alliances. 

Although initially appearing to be a Sisyphean task, navigating the web of financial net zero alliances gives a very real sense of the scale of the movement – how many financial companies have set net zero targets, for example. It also increasingly makes the Race to Zero look like an achievable goal. 

Below is our timeline infographic of the evolution of Financial Net Zero Alliances. Please feel free to share it (tagging @GongComms) – we welcome collaboration and input to improve our work. We are aware this is an ever-growing universe; if you have additional financial alliances that you think ought to be represented in the network, please feel free to email us on NetZero@gongcommunications.com.

What does it mean to be a Net Zero company?

In short, being a Net Zero company means meeting the goal of net zero carbon emissions – or becoming carbon neutral – by 2050, in order to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius (in line with the Paris Agreement). While there is no standardised definition or criteria for use, society is becoming increasingly wary of greenwashing. All of the financial alliances for net zero listed in this article require their signatories to be transparent about their goals and to set science-based targets. The Collective Commitment to Climate Action (CCCA) has published a set of guidelines for climate targets setting for banks that underpin the NZBA (and can be downloaded here). 

Is there an overview of all of the financial net zero alliances? 

We couldn’t find one, which formed the basis of our own research. By way of overview: beyond GFANZ, the Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) is a collection of 43 of the world’s biggest banks (including Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Barclays, HSBC, Santander and UBS) – which in turn joins three existing initiatives, namely the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (AOA), the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative and the Paris Aligned Investor Initiative. It incorporates the insurance industry (with the soon-to-be-launched Net Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), the internationally-led Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) and the Investor Group on Climate Change (Australia and New Zealand). In turn, both of these are part of Climate Action 100+, an investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. 

One of the original financial net zero alliances, Bankers for Net Zero is run in partnership with Volans, which has recently published a must-read white paper on aligning finance to a net zero economy. 

How many financial companies have set net zero targets?

The good news is that the number of financial companies that have set new zero targets is increasing almost too quickly to assign a meaningful number. In September 2020, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reported that the number of net-zero commitments from local governments and businesses had more or less doubled in less than a year, mainly from members of the UN Race to Zero campaign. 

Our research into the financial alliances for net zero indicates nearly a thousand large financial institutions are now part of one or more alliance, with thousands more signatories to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment. 

Where are the changemakers?

Crises – like the current Covid-19 pandemic – take a significant social and economic toll, yet they contain the dynamics for disruption from which new business models emerge. In a June 2020 survey by McKinsey, more than 90 per cent of executives said they expect the fallout from COVID-19 to fundamentally change the way they do business over the next five years. 

But where are these game changers, the companies challenging convention with the ability to open up new avenues of social, economic and financial growth? Here are three of our favourite examples of companies which are challenging convention and transforming industries right now. 

Dive In Festival – adapting to a virtual platform to broaden reach of D&I issues 

Despite a visible year-on-year growth for the insurance industry’s festival on diversity and inclusion – which Gong has worked to deliver since inception in 2015 – the Dive In Festival team’s swift response to physical events disappearing during the pandemic resulted in record-breaking attendance in 2020. By taking the event online, and running it virtually, Dive In recorded 30,153 attendees (three times that of the previous year), at 144 events globally, in 33 countries. The event has already proved to be award-winning, at the 2021 Africa SABRE awards, and the format will be replicated for the event in September 2021, when it will once again inspire discussion around important discussions such as racial equality and gender diversity in the workplace. 

Visionable – changing how we access healthcare 

Visionable is the first video collaboration platform designed especially for healthcare teams’ specialist clinical needs. It’s reimagining health and social care as we become more and more digitally connected. This article in the Financial Times outlines its success in improving results for stroke victims by allowing treatment by consultants via video link before they reach hospital. Even more recent though, is its Visionable Connect video calling app, allowing Covid patients to remain in contact with loved ones whilst in lockdown and professionals to support patients without having to visit their bedside, while PPE was in short supply. You can read the case study on this here. 

DPO – encouraging financial inclusion via ecommerce in Africa 

DPO Group is a home-grown Kenyan technology champion headquartered in Nairobi. Established 14 years ago, it has built and scaled electronic payment solutions that are now used by 50,000 merchants across Africa. It has a history of successful innovation – notably (according to this Forbes article on the company) because of the way it “respects the cultural differences that exist across Africa markets and builds products and local teams suited to each market”. DPO responded to an accelerated structural shift away from cash to online payments during the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak by offering many of its small firm customers the opportunity to process electronic payments in order to expand. One example is Artcaffe – a coffee and bakery chain with no previous online presence – which was able to become a much larger food ordering marketplace, using a DPO-powered website. Artcaffe now sells products on behalf of its suppliers and supports the livelihoods of many offline businesses during the crisis.  

Gong signs up to Green Pensions Charter

Today marks the launch of the Green Pensions Charter, led by Make My Money Matter in partnership with Count Us In. It’s a world first for pensions, uniting 50+ employers – Gong included – in a mission to “make our money matter”.

The Green Pension Charter seeks to ensure that all money invested by company pension schemes helps to tackle the climate crisis – an issue close to all of our hearts at Gong.

As organisations are increasingly supporting net zero strategies and making critical strides on sustainability, pensions are often overlooked. As a result, the £20 billion invested annually through company pension schemes continues to fund tobacco, fossil fuels and deforestation. The Green Pensions Charter seeks to bring an end to that.

To find out more, read the Make My Money Matter blog, and sign up your company to the Green Pensions Charter today.

The economic potential of Nature-based Solutions

Vinesh Parmar, Account Executive

While the world continues to struggle with the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, climate change issues remain critically important. Protecting and restoring nature are key to tackling climate change, yet taking stock of the impact of human-inflicted damage on biodiversity reveals an array of frightening statistics: an average of 60 per cent of vertebrates have been lost since 1970, 75 per cent of the earth’s land surface has been significantly altered by human action and two thirds of the ocean is reeling from human interference. Deforestation has caused the loss of a third of our forests and with it the earth’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide.

‘Building Back Better’ with Nature-based Solutions

There is increasing momentum to use the global recovery from Covid-19 to support climate change mitigation. As United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has said, “We have a responsibility to recover better” than after the 2008 global financial crisis. Nature-based Solutions (NbS), – defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits” – offer an opportunity to avoid accelerated deforestation and biodiversity loss in short-term recovery plans.

Nature-based Solutions can include:

Protecting and growing these natural solutions could provide 37 per cent of the cost-effective CO2 mitigation we require to keep global warming under 2°C over the next decade. But crucially they could also minimize the social and economic impact of Covid-19 by creating employment and economic opportunities.

Profiling Nature-based Solutions

Green shoots of optimism are sprouting with the help of innovation. The Mesoamerican reef in the Yucatan Peninsula, the largest coral reef in the western hemisphere, is an important attraction to driving the USD9bn tourism economy in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Of equal significance is its role in absorbing wave energy, which protects beachfront settlements. Global Parametrics led the renewal of the landmark Mexican Reef Protection Program – a USD1.9m parametric protection solution that enables immediate financial support to restore key parts of the reef, essential in safeguarding the livelihoods of the coastal communities and drawing in tourists, which over 150,000 jobs rely on.

Meanwhile, the Coastal Resources Group is helping countries all over the world to restore their mangroves and create carbon ‘sinks’ – for example, the world’s mangroves sequester about 24 million metric tons of carbon in soil per year – and Malawi has invested 1.5 per cent of its domestic budget to its Youth Forest Restoration Program, employing thousands of young people to grow trees across 50,000 hectares of land (and protecting the livelihoods of its farmers).

Closer to home, the United Kingdom government announced that future flood defense efforts would focus on nature-based approaches, including grassland restoration and allowing rivers to flow more freely across the landscape.

Next steps

Nature-based solutions have a significant socio-economic role to play in a global recovery from Covid-19. A potential USD10tn in additional business revenue could be generated by moving towards a nature-positive economy and could contribute 395 million new roles to the global job market by 2030. As the world rebuilds in the wake of the pandemic, reassessing its priorities, we don’t need to look beyond what’s already around us to catalyse this transition. Instead, we need to invest in decisions that move us towards a sustainable, nature-friendly approach to economic growth and development.

 

 

Showcasing sustainability around the world

President Biden’s virtual Climate Summit this week has seen important international negotiations on climate and sustainability, and the year ahead promises yet more. Although rescheduled once because of the Covid 19 pandemic, the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 is due to be held in Glasgow in November, with international leaders coming together to add detail to their pledges.

Arguably, rescheduling last year’s event may not have been a bad thing. As a result of the pandemic, we learnt the positive power of cutting emissions (albeit imposed on us) – with the biggest annual fall in CO2 emissions since World War II according to one study – not to mention our capability in responding to existential threats. Meanwhile, the past year has seen some of the strongest climate commitments ever made by governments and business leaders – the EU Green Deal, a greener-than-expected Brexit deal, net zero pledges by China, South Korea and Japan, Joe Biden’s election as US President, rejoining of the Paris Agreement and hosting of this week’s virtual Climate Summit, which has seen yet more ambitious pledges from international leaders. Climate action is becoming institutionalised.

We all wait in hope that November will bring further ambitious international carbon pledges, and more importantly, the necessary action to complete them. The narrative for COP26 includes the assertion that ‘each of us has a part to play’ and in the run up to the summit, the conversation is mounting around how businesses, society groups, schools and individuals are taking action to tackle climate change and encourage sustainability – working #TogetherForOurPlanet.

A cursory glance at some of the sustainability stories around the globe shows that this can mean different things in different regions, but all are making strides towards a better future. Here are some of those stories we find most inspirational:

The importance of carbon removal in reaching Net Zero

The growth in net zero pledges over the last year – including asset managers BlackRock and Vanguard in March 2021 – has created unprecedented interest in carbon removal strategies and carbon markets. And rightly so. This article by our Finland-based client Puro.earth explains the difference between carbon offsetting and carbon removal, and why the latter is so integral to reaching our net zero targets. Microsoft is on board – it has pledged to be carbon negative by 2030, partnering with Climeworks and Puro.earth (including using the latter’s suppliers Carbofex, ECHO2 and Carbon Cycle to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through production of biochar, allowing carbon to be stored in soil for centuries) to reach its goal.

Powering-up for a greener, brighter future

The European Union has committed 550 billion euros to climate protection and clean technologies over the next seven years, and these plans hinge on batteries to store renewable energy and to power electric vehicles. Analysts say the next generation of batteries must last longer, charge faster and be safer and greener than those on the market now, allowing for innovation. International technology firm Systems Sunlight, has announced a new R&D centre, at which the company will develop innovative lithium battery technologies for the industrial energy storage sector, focusing on new technologies that will usher in a clean energy future.

Chilling out for a cooler climate

Unreasonable Group-backed company Sure Chill has developed a unique cooling technology that allows cooling equipment to maintain a constant temperature without constant power. Rather like a rechargeable battery, the tech is entirely natural and can be linked with solar – perfect for areas of the world with intermittent power. Sure Chill is also working with some of the world’s largest brands to develop solutions within home refrigeration, food and drink, and logistics —all of which contributed to the government of Dubai’s decision to choose Sure Chill as “one of the technologies most likely to change the world in the next 20 years”.

Protecting East African heritage against the threat of climate change

Established in 2016, the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, offers financial backing for projects that tackle the threat from climate change to cultural heritage in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In November last year, the Fund awarded five global heritage projects including the development of disaster risk management strategies for preserving Kenyan and Tanzanian coastal heritage at risk due to rising sea levels, and protection against the impact of flood threats to communities and monuments in Uganda.

Constructing a more sustainable future

With cement production responsible for 8 - 12 per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions, the race is on to find a sustainable alternative for the construction industry. As part of our African Net Zero series, we spoke to Wolfram Schmidt from Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) about his research into alternative materials like cassava and other agricultural residues as a source of ‘green’ African-made cement for future sustainable construction on the Continent. You can watch the full video here.