Unilever’s Climate Summit campaign goes viral

A digital awareness campaign which aims to encourage global leaders to adopt a more ambitious and urgent approach to addressing climate change has surpassed expectations ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York.

The joint-campaign, between Unilever and social networking site Upworthy, has engaged more than 9.7 million people worldwide in its first seven days, with the average piece of content generating more than 400,000 views.

The initiative is symptomatic of the eco-friendly attitude of Unilever; that big corporations should play a more active role in helping to shape new environmental legislation.

“This is about taking climate change to new heights of awareness through the curating and sharing of highly engaging media content to a global digital audience,” said Marc Mathieu, Unilever senior vice president global marketing.

“If we truly want to drive action on the issues that matter, this coming together of three distinct global partners to create awareness and drive momentum is an exciting new development for all.”

Unilever was the first global company to address the issue of reducing carbon emissions from agriculture and deforestation and the first to launch a comprehensive plan with time-bound targets to drive sustainable sourcing. More than 150,000 social actions (shares/likes/comments) were generated from the campaign, and one of the new campaign’s posts was the top-performing item on Upworthy.com for the week.

Reader involvement

Upworthy’s involvement is partially driven by their readership, who identified climate change and clean energy as the foremost issue they’d like to engage with more on Upworthy.

Similarly 97% of readers say they would like stricter laws and regulations to protect the environment.

“The fight to address climate change receives a fraction of the public attention and discussion it deserves,” said Peter Koechley, Upworthy co-founder and co-CEO.

“The United Nations’ communications strategy, and Unilever’s decision to support it, will help reach those not currently focused on the issue in a new and powerful way; intensify the affiliation of those who are already aligned with the cause; and inspire a new generation of leaders and activists from all walks of civil life who are ready to take action.”

Set for September 23rd, the UN Climate Summit will see world leaders gather in New York to lay the groundwork for countries to reach a meaningful global agreement on climate change in Paris in December 2015.

Brad Allen

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