By Lucy Campbell of Hills Balfour UK on October 17th, 2018

New York City Leading the Way in Championing Sustainability 

Recent research shows that 33 percent of consumers are now choosing brands they believe are doing environmental or social good. This applies to destinations as much as consumer products, and it has now become a crucial element in any campaign.

New York City has been taking bold action on climate change and, through groundbreaking work, the city is committed to hitting the highest goals of the Paris climate agreement, an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). “Our goal is to leverage the city’s significant and growing sustainability efforts to position the destination as the Capital City of a Responsible World,” said Fred Dixon, president & CEO of NYC & Company.

With this in mind, a multidiscipline campaign involving marketing, PR and MICE successfully created an outstanding partnership to propel some of NYC’s key messaging on sustainability. Climate Week NYC is the largest climate week in the world, and as one of the key summits in the international calendar that runs alongside the United Nations General Assembly – it has been driving climate action forward since its launch in 2009.

Led by NYC & Company’s UK office/Hills Balfour, NYC & Company partnered with London-based The Climate Group to help promote and amplify the extraordinary week of events. The Climate Group’s mission is to accelerate climate action to achieve a world of under 2 degrees Celsius of global warming. They do this by bringing together powerful networks of business and governments that shift global markets and policies. They focus on the greatest global opportunities for change, take innovation and solutions to scale, and build ambition and pace. For this 10th Climate Week, approximately 10,000 people gathered from over 40 countries to attend 150 events, including panel discussions, concerts, exhibitions and seminars. International leaders and brilliant innovators from across the public, private and government sectors around the world attended to showcase and discuss global climate action in New York City.

The goal was twofold: to celebrate this global event in its milestone 10th year and to remind citizens, travelers and event organisers that even small decisions can have a profound impact on the future of our planet, as highlighted in NYC & Company’s newly created green guide to NYC, and for meeting planners 10 tips for green meetings – one more way NYC is taking the lead as “The Capital City of a Responsible World.”

The activation involved New York City’s most famous buildings being turned green the eve of Climate Week to symbolize the global need for climate action. New York’s famous skyline was transformed as some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden and One World Trade Center were lit up in green.

Empire state building and World Trade Center


Various additional tactics were rolled out by NYC & Company and Climate Week NYC. As well as lighting the skyline green, they provided space for a major marketing campaign across New York City, including outdoor promotion on NYC bus shelters, banners, taxi cabs and advertisements on LinkNYC screens that raise awareness of what people can do to take climate action. NYC has some excellent sustainability polices that are being pushed heavily by the current administration in recycling, conservation and energy saving. Endorsed by the office of the mayor, a press release was issued globally announcing Mayor de Blasio and NYC & Company welcome climate week to NYC for 10th consecutive year, solidifying NYC’s position as “the Capital City of a Responsible World” and resulting in media coverage around the world. This coverage is already proving to have a positive impact on the organisation of meetings and big events and is highly likely to support increased leisure visitation as well.


The views and opinions expressed in this  blog  are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency member of Travel Consul

By Lucy Campbell of Hills Balfour UK on October 17th, 2018