NEW STANDARD.S second year in review
It almost feels like it was yesterday when we hit “publish” on our one-year anniversary blog post. Since then, the world has changed dramatically.
On the one hand, life in Europe has mostly returned to what we’d describe as “normal:” It’s okay again to meet and mingle with others. We welcome that with open arms and, most of all, open hearts.
Yet, and with far more urgency, the pandemic has triggered many side effects.
On a global scale, inflation has gone through the roof. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening. News about war and dying reach us every day – whether we follow the media or decide not to. Shocking news coverage seems ever-present. Just like the news about climate catastrophes, which also seem to accumulate rapidly.
On a more local level, our next-door neighbors are leaving cities to find more affordable homes. We noticed that we compare prices of everyday products and cannot always afford all the groceries we’d like to buy.
We also see people arriving at train stations nearby. Either we host refugees in our homes, or we sure know of someone who is – or has done so recently.
You, too, might have noticed a growing number of people without a home. People that struggle to get by. Simultaneously, it’s hard to miss that the consumption of goods increased as well – at least the overfilled bins and containers indicate that’s true.
It seems like whatever aspect of the world you look at, change – good or bad – is obvious.
With so many pressing issues, you might ask, “How do you keep a positive outlook in all this?!” Optimism is – at the end of the day – a core value of NEW STANDARD.S. We founded the company exactly for that reason, too: so that we could focus on a positive change in our everyday lives.
We’re on a mission. We believe that seeking out opportunities that allow us to contribute to solving problems is empowering. It’s what keeps us going every day. It’s also the people that surround us – people that question the status quo and invest all their energy in making a positive change – that boost our energy and give us strength.
And – last but not least – it’s also the news about activists that block airports and motorways and do everything they can to raise awareness of the impending climate crisis that makes us keep going. We love that different people choose different paths to make a change.
I’d like to use this article to share a bit more about our approach and what we did in our second year of existence.
You might have already heard the saying: “We don’t need a few people that do things perfectly, we need millions of people that do things imperfectly.”
And for that, we must raise general awareness of not just problems but much more of the already existing solutions.
This past year, we’ve once again dedicated our resources to working with the local government on making climate-friendly solutions more accepted.
In Neukölln, we were in charge of the communication for the sustainability initiative Schön wie wir. Their mission is to reduce trash in the streets by consulting gastronomy businesses, organizing cleanups, and training migrant families on how to implement a sustainable lifestyle. Starting in January 2023, we’ll step up as a project lead and steer the projects in new directions, too. We’re currently hiring “Kiezhausmeister*innen.”
For the Bezirksamt Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, we headed up the local initiative to introduce reusable dishes to the local hospitality businesses but also to raise awareness of the possibility of using reusable dishes to reduce the amount of waste that’s become an environmental and financial plague to the local council and its people.
We believe that by making sustainability tangible, more people will demand sustainability as the new standard. You can read our case study here.
Since founding NEW STANDARD.S, we noticed that very often it’s marketing managers that take on a new role within their company. They’re either tasked with communicating CSR efforts or even writing sustainability reports themselves. Without the necessary knowledge, they might become involved in greenwashing without even realizing it. It’s often due to the lack of resources teaching them the basics of sustainability and sustainability communication.
It’s why we created a seminar to teach communication professionals more about standards, reporting, greenwashing, etc. We believe that by spreading knowledge about these standards, we contribute to raising awareness of potential solutions. We just published new dates for the next seminar.
The first sustainability and/or impact report is a big milestone and one we recommend businesses take sooner rather than later to understand their own (impact) potential. This past year, we accompanied two international companies as they published their first reports.
Montanwerke Brixlegg is a Tirol-based company that recycles copper. During the preparations for the report, we realized that their CO2 footprint is 50% lower than the industry average, which led to repositioning the business as premium.
For FREITAG, the Swiss recycling pioneer and bag brand, we co-created their first impact report. We loved seeing their development and how they are pushing internal processes to reach 100% circularity.
In 2023, we’ll not only update Montanwerke Brixlegg’s report but will also co-create Brammibal’s Donut’s first sustainability report…and maybe yours, too? Get in touch!
“System change, not climate change” is our benchmark for choosing clients in the consumer sectors. Take fashion. Earlier this year, we helped launch the A-GAIN Guide, a platform where people can search for local offerings to swap, mend, or buy secondhand apparel. For our client Techstyler, a platform that offers explanations of the industry innovations, comparisons of materials, and reports on greenwashing practice we created the branding.
In the electronics sector, we helped faircado launch their brand. Their mission is to make secondhand the first choice. In our role as communicators, we believe that our skills amplify our clients’ missions, which is why we choose to work with companies that do good and have that at their core. Learn more about our standards and how we choose clients.
We’re a founder-owned and, most of all, bootstrapped company. In the past year, we’ve welcomed our first full-time employee. With Juliane, we found a great project manager that supports us with all projects. In just a couple of weeks, our co-founder Nika will return from her parental leave, and we’ll be able to take on more clients again. If you’d like to be one of them, please get in touch.