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Insights about Environment

Understanding behaviour change is central to building back better

Our skies are clearer, the air is fresher, and the roads (were) quieter; there is deep reflection, at least in some quarters, on how we can use this moment as a catalyst to permanently alter our lifestyles and create longer term environmental change. But we won’t achieve it just with hope and wishful thinking. The ... more

A green recovery is vital to building back better

Today is World Environment Day, which comes amidst growing momentum around calls for a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis. Boris Johnson has urged countries to “build back better”, committing to “a fairer, greener and more resilient global economy". Earlier this week, more than 200 major companies signed a letter to the prime minister, urging him to "deliver a clean, just recovery". And yesterday, Greenpeace published its manifesto for a green recovery. ... more

5 June 2020

What I’ve learnt from living at home during a crisis

As a newly appointed Junior Account Executive, still finding my feet in communications, to suddenly be working from home during the lockdown has been a whirlwind experience. I never thought I would be working from home this much until much later in my career. After many weeks of trying to adjust to the “new normal” ... more

28 May 2020

Ten sustainability signals for the new normal

While the overriding requirements for sustainability do not change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, new priorities have emerged with implications for both action and communications. The response to the coronavirus pandemic has been incredible. Our basic instinct to help others has risen to the fore and manifested itself in many forms, from informally ... more

Where’s the action on International Women’s Day?

It’s International Women’s Day. Which means a lot of things are all happening at once. We’re celebrating the truly amazing achievements of women around the world. We’re also calling for equality of opportunity and recognition. Richard Herring is no doubt spending the day on Twitter reminding disgruntled users that, yes, there is an International Men’s ... more

Our pioneering plan to be climate positive by 2023

In July 2019, we declared a climate emergency. We became one of only a handful of agencies to publish a climate disclosure report and we joined the Business Declares Network. In December, we became one of 500 companies worldwide committing to net zero by 2030. But that is not enough. To kick start 2020, we ... more

16 January 2020

What a difference a year makes

My 2019 calendar social impact story reflects on a year when we finally started to wake up to the threat of the climate emergency… January   We kicked off the year in our fabulous new offices. A quiet but important policy came into effect with the revised Corporate Governance Code strengthening director responsibilities for listed companies ... more

Three Weddings and a Dress

It started with someone borrowing trousers for fancy dress, then something for a wedding, a graduation and so on. We now swap Winter coats for whole seasons and lend each other entire holiday wardrobes. At Forster, our ever-increasing understanding of the environmental and human cost of fast fashion meant that many of us no longer ... more

Along for the ride

After having the luxury of living a ten-minute walk from Forster since we relocated to Whitechapel at the end of 2018, I found myself facing the dreaded London commute once again when I moved house in September this year. Aside from the fact I didn’t want to be crammed amongst commuters on the underground, I was ... more

17 December 2019
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Small and many is powerful

The cheerful gentleman on the right in this photo is Robin. He is a resident at Etheldred House, a care home in Histon, Cambridgeshire, where I live. Robin suffered a brain injury a few years back and now needs care support. He is unusual in that he is resident in the same care home as ... more

17 December 2019
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Eating for the future

Four years ago, I looked at what I could do to tackle climate change and came up with six areas for not only myself, but for anyone who would ask. 1.) How you vote 2.) What you eat 3.) How you travel 4.) How you waste/recycle 5.) What energy you use 6.) Where you spend ... more

17 December 2019
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Fashion, fashion, fashion.

I cannot deny the joy I get from a retail fix. Unfortunately for my bank balance doesn’t feel the same. At fifteen, I self-identified as a shopaholic. I was always lining up outside East London charity shops or trotting around South London looking for the latest vintage pieces for the outfits that I had already ... more

Consumers can’t sit back on decarbonisation

The Business Green Technology Festival was packed to the rafters with brilliant people doing brilliant things. Solid, sensible and impressive solutions in Clean Tech. Commercial savviness at the core, and the kind of products and innovations that make you wonder why we haven’t been living with them for years – whether it is Ripple Energy’s ... more

12 December 2019

Achieving environmental ambition is everyone’s business

Bold ambitions on achieving net zero, removing single use plastics, running fast food toy take-back schemes and transforming supply chains, fill our daily news feeds. This is a good thing. It shows how environmental issues and the climate emergency have massively catapulted into our collective consciousness. But ambition and easy-to-get-away tactical comms initiatives are just ... more

21 November 2019
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Money Talks

It has been an incredible year of change. Business leaders, politicians and the public alike are approaching 2020 with recognition of the climate emergency and a desire to do something about it. But change costs money – and it’s up to all of us to help. While the UK Government and a wide range of ... more

21 November 2019


View our signed declaration below: Climate emergency declaration, Sept19 Read our Climate Disclosure Report here: more

19 September 2019

Where we are, where we want to be

Where we are, where we want to be Forster has been living and breathing sustainability issues for our entire existence and central to that is our commitment that we always walk the talk. Even before we became a founding UK B Corp, we were committed to being transparent about our impact – good and bad ... more

Declaration is a starting point but action is everything

Just over a month ago, Extinction Rebellion (XR) called upon advertising agencies to “Declare a climate & ecological emergency and act accordingly.” Recognising the urgency of this and our role as communicators, we have joined an industry-wide movement that goes live today. Declaration is a starting point but action is everything.  Our purpose as a ... more

8 July 2019

London Circular Economy Week

We are busy building up to London Circular Economy Week taking place from 10-14 June which will showcase and celebrate circularity in the capital. It will involve a series of events and workshops to encourage businesses, charities and social enterprises to take a more circular and sustainable approach to the built environment, plastics, food, textiles ... more

29 May 2019

Forster’s Fashion Revolution: Swish Swish

While Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion have been leading the growing global protest against climate breakdown, behind the front-page news another insurgent week has been bubbling away. It’s a revolution: a fashion revolution. Forster has long supported the need to rethink how we buy clothes and reduce the impact it has on the environment. We got ... more

29 April 2019

Turning sustainability cynics into storytellers

Your business purpose is clear and you have a strong social change ambition – but now it needs to become a reality.  How can you find the tipping point where ownership shifts from a few individuals to a company-wide culture that is hardwired into decision making and behaviours? Typically, employees will be segmented according to ... more

edie Sustainability Consultancy of the Year win!

We are proud to have been named Consultancy of the Year at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Awards last night. It’s a testament not only to our amazing team but to all of the pioneering organisations we work with to push the sustainability agenda and drive tangible social action. It is fantastic to see recognition for the ... more

7 February 2019

The Wates Principles and the $1.8 billion opportunity for pharma

In December, the Wates Principles were published as new guidance for large private companies, reiterating the need for them to behave in a way that benefits society as well as the economy, building trust and confidence among all stakeholders. It is an important moment, recognizing the impact of the private business sector, and sits alongside the revised ... more

7 February 2019
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Could the future of high streets help drive a more sustainable economy?

In high street stores only a short hop from home I can mend my own jeans, screen print a T-shirt, fix a flat tyre or even build a whole bike from scratch – all at thriving independent businesses. Last weekend, I spent a good 3 hours tinkering with my bike whilst a patient London Bike ... more

28 January 2019
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Will the new code crack it?

This week, the Wates Principles were published as new guidance for large private companies, reiterating the need for them to behave in a way that benefits society as well as the economy, building trust and confidence among all stakeholders. It is an important moment, recognising the impact of the private business sector, and sits alongside ... more

A heart-warming story for Christmas

Ever wondered “What’s the point?” As individuals, we can feel like tiny little figures tossed on the waves of issues we don’t feel we have any control over. Don’t worry, this isn’t a blog about Brexit (life’s too short), it’s about the issues we care about, large or small, and not feeling there’s anything we ... more

12 December 2018

Stuff Stuff

Sitting comfortably? You might not be come 5 o’clock on Christmas Day when you’ve hoovered up the traditional lunch and tucked into the cheese and chocolate selection as a wholly unnecessary follow-up. There is, of course, nothing wrong with a blow-out every now and then but beware of anyone who wishes that “every day was ... more

22 November 2018

Forster revealed as ‘Consultancy of the Year’ finalist

Some exciting news this Monday morning- we’ve been shortlisted for edie’s Sustainability Leaders of the Year award in the ‘Consultancy of the Year’ category! After a record breaking number of entries, this year’s shortlist is made up of 10 consultancies that are together redefining what it means to be a sustainable, ethical and responsible business. A ... more

22 October 2018

Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals is everyone’s business but how do you convince everyone else of that?

This week Measuring Up, the first comprehensive assessment of the UK’s performance against the SDGs, was released. It makes for tough reading. The UK is performing well on only a quarter of all the goals, and the profound problems of poverty and malnutrition are on the rise. This matters for every business in the UK ... more

You are not alone

How do you solve really big problems? The answer never changes but always bares repeating – by working together. There is of course something very romantic about a lone visionary labouring away in a lab / garage / garden shed to conjure up game-changing inventions, innovations and insights, but the reality is far more likely ... more

Sustainable transport at Forster

Here at Forster we’re big advocates of sustainable transport. So much so that we encourage and support all of our staff to either cycle or walk to work. Included in our employee benefits programme are the following: Peddle points: 5 minutes additional holiday for every return journey walked or cycled to work Free company loan ... more

6 June 2018
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Working for change: six weeks with Forster

Anyone who has done work experience for the first time can relate to that feeling of trepidation as you approach the office door on your first day. As I journeyed to London Bridge to begin my placement with Forster, I had a nagging sense of dread that by the end of the six weeks, my ... more

8 March 2018

Turning policy into living, breathing practice

Being a PR professional can be hard. No one really understands what we do; and those that have some idea often don’t like the sound of it. We tend to have clients on one side and journalists on the other. We’re a service industry with deadlines and jobs that don’t always fit into the 9-5 ... more

31 January 2018
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Think Global, Act Local

PR agencies spend a lot of time talking about living their values, for themselves and their clients. It is an important thing to do in an industry that gets shaken by scandals like Bell Pottinger every few years, where companies have forgotten that this mantra needs to be practised and not just preached. It was ... more

Society and the environment – our impact

No matter how innovative and progressive we are on improving health through our clients and employees, we also do our best to reduce our environmental footprint and have a positive impact on our community. Here are some of the things we have done: Staff volunteering: all our staff volunteered for a day for FoodCycle, creating ... more

25 January 2018
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Can money really ever be good?

The fact you are more likely to divorce your spouse than change bank accounts is so well cited that it’s a cliché. There are, obviously, a thousand reasons why this is the case. But, one of them certainly seems to be apathy. Or at least a feeling that not much would change by changing the ... more

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Nudging has been fashionable for a few years as the key to creating behaviour change around all sorts of public health issues like smoking, exercise and healthy eating. But nudging can be exhausting because you have to keep doing it. Sustainable behaviour change needs more than the nudge, it needs initiatives that crack the hardest ... more

28 September 2017
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Businesses unite in a bid to make the UK economy ‘fit for the future’ by backing sustainable development

Over 80 major businesses have united to call on the Government to demonstrate its commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the UK and overseas Open letter to Prime Minister says sustainable development is essential for long term prosperity and the wellbeing of future generations Letter is published on the eve of the ... more

Planet Earth – life after telly

Harry Day looks at the communications challenge of turning us from passive consumers of amazing nature documentaries into active participants in protecting our natural world. Watching the stunning David Attenborough documentary Planet Earth II, it’s impossible not to be captivated by the wildlife. From hatchling iguanas being dramatically chased by snakes to the bears dancing ... more

5 January 2017

It’s all about the application

In the lead up to FutureFest last month, Nesta carried out a survey which revealed that more people would rather live now than in 20 years’ time. Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive at Nesta, reminded us that our future is a choice; we have an opportunity to change this fear into possibility. “The concept of the ... more

22 years: Proof Positive

We’ve been thinking positively and working with our clients to make real positive change for the last 22 years. Here are just a few of the things we’re most proud of which show that if businesses, governments, charities and people work together, we can make good things happen…   In 2003 we created Seeing is ... more

Global compact

Forster Communications has supported the United Nations Global Compact since 2012. We support the endeavours to make globalization more socially and ecologically compatible and to raise standards in the fields of human rights, labour rights and environmental protection and in the fight against corruption. The ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact Human rights ... more

6 January 2016

Bringing business to society

As the year comes to an end, you would be forgiven for believing the world has never been in worse shape. Social unrest, environmental devastation, economic uncertainty, multiple conflicts and the seemingly relentless rise of extremism – all have reared their heads repeatedly in 2015. But, you’d be wrong. The world is currently more peaceful, ... more

The issues that mattered most in 2015

The research we did earlier this year into consumer attitudes towards business involvement in social change highlighted just how important the majority of consumers feel it is for businesses to get more involved. Following on from that, we have been busy analysing the issues that mattered most to consumers over the past year, to highlight ... more

22 December 2015
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A year of digital milestones

We live in a fast moving digital world and it can be hard to keep up with all the latest innovations. Below are ten of the biggest digital developments in 2015. Sign up here to receive our regular round-up of digital news in 2016. Virtual Reality just got real Facebook launched 360 Video, completely changing the ... more

Championing change-makers in businesses

Businesses have long been at the vanguard of driving social and environmental change, and that change is often powered by an individual within the business with the passion, commitment and ability to make things happen Finding, celebrating and supporting those individuals is crucial to getting more businesses involved in positive change, which is why we ... more

Study reveals issues that mattered most in 2015

Homelessness, feminism and mental health establish themselves in national psyche As the year comes to a close and attention turns to the year that was, Forster, the communications agency working with businesses and charities to accelerate change, today reveals the social issues that most captured the nation’s attention over the last 12 months. Social media ... more

We’re in the business of action

Raising awareness is one thing, getting people to take action is another. We’ve spent 20 years successfully inspiring the latter and have brought all that knowhow together to create our new Activation practice. It will focus on helping clients create campaigns and movements that inspire people to challenge attitudes, support a cause, change the way ... more

You need to be in it for the long haul

We’ve undertaken our own survey of charities on the issue of partnerships with businesses and the findings reveal the potential for partnerships to work harder and achieve more for businesses and charities alike if they both seek a longer term, more strategically driven relationship. We consulted 28 charities with annual incomes ranging from £1m to ... more

25 November 2015
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Let’s call it a challenge, not a crisis

I’m not quite sure why, but I can hazard a guess as to why Halloween seems to now be as big a news story these days as Glastonbury. When I was 10 years old I might have scrambled together a costume out of a couple of bin bags, a borrowed ballet leotard and some of ... more

27 October 2015
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Pursuit of China sends wrong message to business

These are already challenging times for those trying to make the case that being profitable and ethical are not mutually exclusive. Volkswagen was a standard bearer for corporate citizenship until it emerged it lied about its vehicles emissions for years. Other car manufacturers may be implicated. This weekend it emerged that manufacturers of domestic appliances ... more

21 October 2015
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B Corps because…

There was a time in the late 20th century when any new social change movement came in from left field, pushed hard, prompted and pressurised, before being replaced by a newer, more sophisticated idea. How times have changed! Today, in a mainstreaming culture, new ideas have to focus on rapid assimilation. It helps if they ... more

24 September 2015
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Ambivalence Avenue is an undesirable address

When austerity-focused government chooses to leave increasingly demanding social issues to charities, there is an opportunity for mainstream businesses to collaborate and make a real difference. It is why we commissioned our inaugural Business to Society survey, to provide us with some evidence to support that opportunity. We asked businesses about their commitment to engaging ... more

24 September 2015
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Forster Communications bolsters its reputation and campaigns practices with two senior hires

Martin Barrow has joined Forster Communications from Maitland as head of its reputation practice while Carrie Greene has been recruited from Kindred as a senior consultant in the agency’s campaigns practice. Martin was previously a partner at Maitland, advising some of Britain’s biggest companies on internal and external communications and crisis management. A former journalist, ... more

10 September 2015
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Forster Communications becomes one of the founding B Corps in the UK

Forster Communications has just become one of the UK’s first certified B Corporations, joining the community of UK Founding B Corps which officially launches in London on 24 September 2015. B Corps (‘Benefit Corporations’) are businesses of all sizes and types, independently certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. ... more

4 September 2015
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New annual survey finds that doing good is good for business

A new annual survey that we released this week highlights the appetite business leaders and consumers have for businesses to play a greater role in tackling pressing social and environmental issues. The inaugural Business to Society Survey found that 57% of business leaders believe they should be doing more to tackle social issues, while 63% ... more

1 September 2015
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New Voices on Climate Change

We can say with certainty that humankind is changing the Earth’s climate: we’ve heard the warnings of the effects of climate change across the globe and what we need to do now to solve it (in the UK, our Climate Change Act commits us to a reduction of carbon emissions by at least 80% from ... more

24 March 2015

Why long-term campaigning works: spotlight on cycling

2015 will mark the 10th anniversary of the London 7/7 tube bombings, a terrible tragedy but which had the unexpected side effect of increasing the number of people cycling to work in London. Many will have reverted back to the tube having experienced riding a bike on the capital’s roads is perhaps not as expected. ... more

To affect change you have to believe in it

As an agency dedicated to bringing about social change, we know too well that you have to show people that change is actually possible if you want them to act more positively. Whether it is getting people cycling, being safer in their homes or even raising professional standards (see our case studies), you have to ... more

18 February 2015
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It’s official – we are a great place to work

Last night we were voted the best place to work amongst mid size agencies at PR Week UK’s Best Places to Work Awards, thanks largely to the commitment of our own staff to make Forster a fantastic place to spend your working day. It’s brilliant recognition for the work we have done on employee mental ... more

12 February 2015

The Power of &

We are very proud to announce the birth of a precious baby – the Forster Communications Sustainability Report. As the social change communications agency, we work with organisations and businesses to deliver positive social change, starting with ourselves and our own social purpose. We are constantly on the search for the &, our reason for ... more

9 October 2014

The Big Swap

If you can’t quite bring yourself to take that slightly-too-small jumper to the charity shop but you’re too lazy for eBay then gather the clothes, books and DVDs you’re bored with and swap them for (nearly) new things on more

24 February 2014

Future positive

Rip up the past, make new rules Unlike governments, which seem enfeebled and out of time everywhere, more and more businesses are realising that they can change the world for the better by putting purpose at the centre of everything they do. In the UK, when we need to be looking ahead, much of 2014 ... more

Rip it up and start again

Today we’ve launched our new winter insight report, “Rip it up and start again” to inspire businesses to think differently about how to create change 2014.. It’s full of provocations, ideas and inspiring examples of businesses bringing their energy, flair and innovation to bear on a range of issues from an ageing population through to reducing wasteful ... more

When companies campaign

It is no longer enough for companies simply to provide a product or a service. Many consumers, employees even shareholders and senior business leaders are looking beyond the bottom line and considering the social purpose of what they do. more

26 September 2013
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The B Team- questionable name, great initiative!

Last week I listened to a very familiar conversation about the role of business in society. The usual issues were covered: the short-sightedness of businesses chasing the bottom rather than triple bottom line, the need for a new generation of business leaders with a more holistic understanding of corporate accountability and the need to remove ... more

24 June 2013

Demonstrating social value

Jilly Forster notes how Google’s Global Impact Challenge shows how commercial organisations can demonstrate their social value and gives some tips on how they can make, retain and develop good working partnerships with non-profits who eat, live and breathe social purpose. How does a commercial business demonstrate social value? Given the direction that private business ... more

18 June 2013
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What is your purpose here?

It wasn’t that long ago that brands with a clear social or environmental purpose were seen as marginal or flaky. Today, brands perceived as lacking either are viewed as anti-social and destructive. Now, every brand has to take an active approach to its social reason for being. more

22 May 2013

Beyond the Car – The Future of UK Urban Mobility

The majority of car journeys are made by just one passenger; a hugely inefficient way to get around. It is expected that the future of (powered) urban transport will be in much smaller personal vehicles, and will encourage the use of more semi-autonomous transport systems. But how do we get to these changes and what ... more

16 May 2013

Google launches £2m hunt for Britain’s most innovative social entrepreneurs

How would you use technology to change the world? If you are a British non-profit, Google is inviting you to tell them how you would use innovation to solve a specific social issue on a grand scale. On 25 March,Google launched the Global Impact Challenge, inviting British non-profits to tell them how they would use ... more

Purposeful change takes time

Recently, with friends from the RSPCA, The Body Shop and the wider animal welfare movement, Forster finally celebrated the EU Directive banning the marketing of cosmetics tested on animals. This was the culmination of over three decades of purposeful activity. While much of Forster’s client communications work can be instantly measured, evaluated, refined and adapted, ... more

7 March 2013

Comms tips for the new development framework

The deadline for the Millennium Development Goals is fast approaching. We have just under 2 years to achieve all 8 goals, and while there has been great progress on eradicating poverty, many of the others now appear woefully unattainable. more

28 February 2013
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What will Britain’s roads look like in 2022?

This Christmas marks the close of a year which has seen cycling at the heart of an unprecedented wave of national celebration. The first English Tour de France winner and eight cycling gold medals at London 2012 were undoubtedly highlights. We’ve also seen the Mayor of London pledge to double spending on cycling infrastructure in ... more

20 December 2012

The Ground Beneath Our Feet

Our biennial sustainability report, The Ground Beneath Our Feet is published today – warts and all. In our 2012 Sustainability Report we reveal the small, but important, changes we have made at Forster in the last two years to maximise our positive impact from the point of view of employees, suppliers, clients, the environment and our ... more

21 November 2012

Forster appointed by Science Museum

We’re really pleased to be working with the Science Museum again in September, as part of their pioneering Climate Changing programme – a three year series of events, exhibitions and installations showcasing The Science Museum’s perspective, ideas and news on the climate changing world. Over the course of this month we’ll be supporting the PR ... more

4 September 2012