AOK Connect, the sponsorship consultancy of The AOK Events Group led by Sam Baring, hosted its first networking breakfast titled ‘Partnerships in Sustainability’. This event was the first in a series, with four further events planned for 2020.

The breakfast was in partnership with Somerset House and took place in their East Wing. Discussing how to implement successful sustainability programmes with partners were Diana Spiegelberg, Deputy Director of Somerset House; Chas Moloney, Ricoh’s Marketing Director and Gavin Ellis, Director and Founder of Hubbub.

Somerset House has been awarded a four-star rating in recognition of its environmental commitment, understanding and improvement by Julie’s Bicycle Creative Green Awards. Somerset House is actively responding to environmental issues both through the practical management of the Grade I listed historical site and thematically as part of their year-round cultural programme – a highlight being the annual Earth Day season in April. l. Diana Spiegelberg introduced ‘24/7 – A Wake-Up Call for Our Non-Stop World’’ and ‘Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi’ as upcoming exhibitions at Somerset House that could be most relevant to brands looking for an arts and sustainability led partnership opportunity.

Chas Moloney warned organisations who used sustainability for a PR angle, to paper over gaps in policies, process and procedures, or simply ‘greenwash’ would be found out by the media, their employees, competitors and customers creating long term damage to any brand.

Chas stated “you have to live it, creating better environments must be part of your DNA. Any partnerships, sponsorships and activities must include sustainability objectives otherwise they will be wasted”.

Ahead of planning any partnership, gain insight, make sure that you can exceed all of your objectives and prove evidence of the actions. It is also critical employees feel part of any activities, proud of the brand’s actions and have a degree of ownership. As a result, successful partnerships allow better conversations with key stakeholders driving brand values.

Gavin Ellis stated “partnerships and collaboration are absolutely key to everything we do” at Hubbub, a charity based at Somerset House that designs playful campaigns to inspire people to make healthier and greener lifestyle choices. He advised bringing together diverse partners to collaborate, set objectives and drive innovative results and remember that it can be important to ‘learn fast and fail cheap. Start small, test, learn, grow and adapt’ to make activations as successful as they can be.

Park Communications supported the event with printed handouts made from leftover materials from the beer brewing process and recycled coffee cups.

AOK Connect specialises in sustainability partnerships. Recently working with Robeco Asset Management and City to Sea in the fight against marine plastic pollution at source by driving the Refill campaign. Speak to Sam Baring to discuss how AOK Connect can support brands and sustainability initiatives to achieve their objectives.

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© The AOK Events Group 2020

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AOK Connect, The Engine Rooms, 150a Falcon Road, London, SW11 2LW