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Environmental Communication Options - March 2011 Newsletter

Tuesday, March 8th 2011 2:16:01pm


It has been a busy past few months at Environmental Communications Options (ECO), with files from Newfoundland to British Columbia landing on our desks.

In addition to our retainer client files, we have had some interesting custom assignments. They included organizing major media events for these clients:

The Beer Store
Sims Recycling Solutions
Victims of Cougar 491

Other projects:

BOMA CDM Pilot Project
Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-Kwa-Mish First Nation First Nations Class-Action lawsuit

The "1 Billionth Recycled" event for The Beer Store

The One Billionth container was returned to The Beer Store (TBS) under the Bag it Back program, the Ontario Government's highly successful deposit return program for wine, spirit and beer containers sold through LCBO and Ontario winery retail stores. In order to create a tangible and substantive symbol of the program's success, ECO was called on to coordinate and execute a media event.

With less than 3 weeks notice, ECO was able to secure a good location and guest speakers for the event. We then took on the responsibility of writing media advisories and releases, and inviting media from around Toronto to attend the event.

The event had extensive media pick-up and featured Environment Minister John Wilkinson, TBS President Ted Moroz and Executive Director of the Conservation Council of Ontario, Chris Winter. It was singled out for a commendation by the blog Touchdowns & Fumbles:


Some nice media play this week for Ontario's environment ministry and the provincially-owned LCBO, trumpeting the success of the deposit-return system for wine and liquor bottles which was brought in three years ago. Since then, Environment Minister John Wilkinson announced at a photo-op on Monday, Ontarians have returned more than one billion empties to The Beer Store. Supplemented with stats about diversion from landfill and colourful facts about the kinds of new products the recycled glass helps to make, and flanked by a credible third party endorser (namely Chris Winter, head of the Conservation Council of Ontario), Wilkinson's announcement was a "ready to eat" media story. And it also shows the communications value that organizations can mine from their own data. Keep an eye on your internal numbers, whether it's the number of widgets you've produced or reductions in your carbon footprint through environmental initiatives in your operation. If you hit a major milestone, there's potentially gold in them thar hills of data. (http://www.touchdownsblog.ca)

Click here for a list of TBS releases

Sims Recycling Solutions' Mississauga e-waste recycling plant media launch

World's most technologically advanced e-waste recycling facility opens in Canada - this may be a familiar title for those who follow recycling news or ECO's media release distributions. The grand opening of Sims Recycling Solutions (SRS)'s new e-waste recycling plant was one of ECO's media projects in the last couple of months. Participants of the event included: SRS executives from the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the Ontario Minister of Environment, the Executive Director of Friends of the Earth - Canada and local politicians.

ECO and trusted photographer Rodney Daw took photos of the new plant in preparation of media inquiries prior to the event. As a result, ECO was able to attract several editors of trade publications and other media and sent the photos in time for their publication deadlines. On the day of the event, ECO registered over 24 journalists at the grand opening. In addition to extensive local coverage (including ethnic media) it garnered much coverage in industry trade publications and enormous pick-up on websites such as CNET and TreeHugger.

Click on the screenshot below to see a sample news clip from CHCH News

Click for a list of Sims Recycling Solutions releases

Victims of Cougar 491

Letter to the Federal Minister of Transportation from Victims of Cougar 491

ECO coordinated the media roll-out of an "open letter" to the Federal Minister of Transport on behalf of the families of the victims of the 2009 Cougar 491 helicopter crash off Newfoundland's coast.

They are seeking an investigation from Transport Minister Chuck Strahl into how "Certification" of S-92 aircraft occurred, despite a failure to meet the "30 minute run dry standard" of the helicopter's main gear box. Their call for action appeared in newspapers across Canada and not surprisingly was the lead TV news story in Newfoundland that evening.

Click on the screenshot below to see a sample NTV news clip featuring a widow of a victim in the crash asking for investigation of the certification of Cougar 491.

Click for a list of Victims of Cougar 491 releases

Other projects:

Two projects of special note are the Building Owners and Managers Association's Conservation and Demand Management (BOMA CDM) Program and the Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-Kwa-Mish First Nation (KAFN) Class-Action lawsuit regarding salmon fishing rights.

BOMA CDM Pilot Program

Working with BOMA CDM for the past two years, ECO deployed earned media techniques, extensive advertising, a sales team and workshops to support the Program. This resulted in quarter-over-quarter increases in the Program's enrollment and performance.

The chart above shows the month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter results in megawatts saved in Toronto through the BOMA CDM Program.

Click for a list of BOMA CDM releases

"Certification" step in BC First Nations Class-Action lawsuit

The KAFN file has seen the first use of a class-action legal claim to support a First Nation rights issue. The class-action challenges the interference of Aboriginal fishing rights allegedly caused by open net-cage salmon farming in their Territories (the Broughton Archipelago).

ECO has been responsible for the media strategy around the class-action lawsuit since February 2, 2009, when KAFN first filed the suit. We have worked closely with lawyers from Camp Fiorante Matthews, Krista Robertson and Ward Branch. ECO has provided significant strategic counsel and media relations for NGOs involved with British Columbia salmon issues.

Bob Chamberlin, Chief of KAFN, speaks to media about the class-action lawsuit

Click for a list of KAFN releases

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