What makes a sustainability leader? Why WWF and Silverback Films are our employee engagement champions

The award was presented at a glittering ceremony in London back in March

Shortlisted for our Employee Engagement & Behaviour Change Initiative  Award 2022 were BNRE, Colt Technology Services, EY, Natwest Group, Ulker Biskuvi, GSK and WWF. The latter took home this award for its partnership with Silverback Films on the ‘Our Planet: Too Big to Fail’ film.

Click here for more information on the edie Awards 2023. 

WWF-UK wanted to start a “green revolution” in the finance sector ahead of COP26, with employees of multiple companies.

The finance sector has one of the biggest impacts on the environment and, by continuing to invest heavily in fossil fuels and commodities linked to deforestation, it is making the crisis worse.

WWF wanted to reach every group within the finance sector – asset owners, asset managers, banks, and regulators – to make them to understand the issues and work together on solutions.

To reach as many businesses as possible in a short amount of time, the environmental group partnered with Silverback Films and Netflix to create an epic film – Our Planet: Too Big To Fail – which shows how the finance sector can be part of the solution.

The surrounding campaign empowers any employee to screen the film at work. By the time edie held its 2022 Awards ceremony in March, it had been aired  within 85 different organisations  including Aviva, Bank of America, Barclays, Credit Suisse, M&G, Moody’s, NatWest, and Phoenix Group.

To inspire finance sector employees to change behaviours, the film includes stunning visuals from the Our Planet Netflix series and interviews with pioneers of the sustainable finance movement. A wide range of financial institutions, as well as ethnic, gender and geographical diversity, are represented in the film.

The film also promotes five key behaviour changes: understanding and minimising your risks; declaring and halting your negative impact; considering all stakeholders in decision-making; seizing new opportunities; helping to build the new systems we need.

Because of the complexity of the sector, WWF has screened the film to a wide range of industry professionals from accountants, actuaries, bankers, asset managers, asset owners like pension providers and insurance companies, plus regulators. To measure success, it asked people to register their event and audience numbers. From this, the group knows that at least 9,600 people have attended bespoke events to watch the film.

The film has been translated into nine languages and also screened in the US, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Beijing, Australia. It has also had 130,000 online views of the film on its website and on YouTube.

To ensure the information stays current, WWF offers speakers to share reports and give talks on key topics. It also encourages a Q&A after the film so employees can ask about the behaviour changes that are most effective for them and what specifically their organisation can do. WWF is now helping employees talk to government representatives to make policy shifts needed to accelerate behaviour change across the entire sector.

edie’s judges said: “ With its clear calls to action, this powerful film influenced both the hearts and minds within financial institutions, in a year which has been so critical for climate action. The judges were impressed by the sheer reach and impact of this campaign, having engaged almost 10,000 employees through more than 100 screening events.”

Are you our next winner?

Now in its 16th year, the world’s largest sustainable business awards scheme – formerly known as the Sustainability Leaders Awards – continues to champion bold and brilliant climate leadership. From the most ambitious net-zero carbon programmes through to cutting-edge green innovations; from impactful climate partnerships and social sustainability initiatives to the heroes on the ground who are driving positive change.

The edie Awards are hosted during our flagship Business Leadership Month, offering a unique opportunity to have your sustainability achievements recognised and admired by thousands of businesses and climate experts. Winning an edie Award empowers teams, inspires stakeholders and accelerates sustainable business growth.

Entries for the awards are NOW OPEN and the deadline for entries is 14 October. The winners will then be revealed at a ceremony in London on 30 March 2023. Click here for full details and to enter. 


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