Chelgate Environment is a dedicated division within Chelgate to deliver environmental public affairs and public relations. It is headed by Nick Wood-Dow who was the deputy chairman of the Environment Council and chairman and founder of the Tory Green Initiative. He is supported by a team of seasoned professionals including Jim McClelland, founder and former editor of Sustain’ Magazine.
Relationships between a company and the environment can present either a threat or an opportunity. They amount to a threat if a company is perceived by its stakeholders to have a negative or damaging impact on the environment. They offer an opportunity if the company’s behaviour demonstrates that the environment matters, to its employees, its suppliers, its shareholders and its customers.
Many companies have derived positive benefit from good environmental behaviour and practice. A company with a notably green reputation will find it easier to attract high quality staff, especially graduate applicants. Its shareholder meetings will not be targets for noisy environmental protesters. Its planning applications for new development are less likely to be opposed by local councillors.
Above all, good environmental behaviour needs to be at the heart of corporate communications programmes, so that the key target audiences are made aware that environmental impact is positive rather than negative. To some audiences, and customers, this is more important than sports or arts sponsorship. It must be real, not fake, thought through rather than impulse, and be seen to work. It is also good PR.
Only an old-fashioned company completely ignores the environment in this modern world. Most commercial organisations are aware of the thrust of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 – that “the polluter pays”. As cost control is vital to corporate profitability, unnecessary pollution can be expensive in terms of finance and reputation, so it makes sense to keep pollution to a minimum.
In its dialogue with councillors and local residents, Chelgate is able to provide a deep understanding of how local communities function, which can only be gained by working “on the ground”.
If you would like to find out more about how Chelgate can help with environmental public relations and public affairs, please contact Nick Wood-Dow, chairman, Chelgate Environment, on 020 7939 7909 or by email.