CorpComms Awards

Best sustainability initiative

Winner 2021
Opportunity 2030
Standard Chartered
Agency: Man Bites Dog

UK-headquartered Standard Chartered challenged agency Man Bites Dog to create a long-term platform that would support its ‘Here for Good’ brand purpose and promote the bank’s sustainability credentials in an otherwise crowded space.

Man Bites Dog recognised that Standard Chartered had a unique opportunity to champion the role of finance in sustainable development while, capitalising on its positioning, directing capital which is predominantly concentrated in developing markets to where it is needed most: emerging markets.

Using its bespoke 4D Strategic Ideas Framework, the Brighton-based agency worked with Standard Chartered to create a family of related campaigns on the theme of financing change, which promoted the bank’s sustainable finance services.

The project kicked off with Opportunity2030, a campaign that, using economic modelling, revealed that there was an investment opportunity worth $10 trillion for organisations supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals over the decade to 2030.

Hailed by the UN as ‘truly breaking new ground’, Opportunity2030 positioned Standard Chartered as a global thought leader on sustainable finance, generating more than 500 pieces of media coverage across 25 countries, including 110 ‘tier one media’ hits from outlets such as CNN and CNBC.

Such was the interest in the campaign, that the Opportunity2030 microsite generated more than 100,000 visitors. An unprecedented 68 per cent of visitors signed up for further information.

The second campaign, The $50 trillion question, launched during the US presidential election, asked whether investors were using their assets to help meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Drawing on the insights of a panel of investors with $50 trillion in assets under management, including Blackrock, Standard Chartered and Schroders, and chaired by an Economist journalist, the campaign revealed that only a third of global investment capital is allocated to emerging markets and just 13 per cent of investments are SDG-aligned. Standard Chartered promoted the findings at the UK Green Horizons Summit.

The third element, Zeronomics, brought investor and CEO perspectives together to examine the role of finance in the net-zero transition. It revealed that more than half – 55 per cent – of companies are progressing too slowly to reach net zero by 2050. The greatest obstacle to progress is insufficient finance, with the largest shortfalls seen in emerging markets.

The report, which has been viewed more than 2.4 million times, has generated 246 pieces of coverage across 21 countries, with 25 ‘tier one media’ hits, including The Guardian and Financial Times. Zeronomics has provided Standard Chartered bankers with new insights to share with business leaders and potential clients. It is now regularly cited in industry roundtables, webinars and online conferences.

The final piece of the puzzle was Carbon Dated. It promoted Standard Chartered’s combined sustainable and trade finance capabilities by quantifying the supply chain impact of the corporate net zero strategies highlighted in Zeronomics, which revealed a $1.6 trillion export opportunity for emerging market suppliers that align with multinationals’ net zero plans. To date, it has generated more than 160 pieces of media coverage across 14 markets.

Man Bites Dog’s four-pronged approach has positioned Standard Chartered as a driving force in the race to net zero while, by highlighting the Sustainable Development Goals’ capital gap, it has created a clear call to action for the bank’s sustainable finance capabilities.