Sustainability has become a key driver in people’s behaviour and companies’ choices. However, the need for concrete actions in the everyday life of citizens, administrations, and companies has emerged strongly in recent times.
Società Athesis, a large editorial group in northern Italy, decided to get involved in the implementation of sustainability in-depth with an innovative public relations and community service project. Agenda Sostenibilità (Agenda Sustainability) is the result and it is aimed at raising awareness of sustainability issues among readers.
In 2021, we published three thematic inserts and a weekly page in each of our newspapers (L’Arena, Il Giornale di Vicenza, and Bresciaoggi), a monographic edition of our magazine (Sei), three vertical Web sites, social networks, TV formats, and podcasts.
Awareness but also action
At the same time, the collaborative part of the project began, aimed at defining Agenda Verona, Agenda Vicenza, and Agenda Brescia. Each invited the main stakeholders in their area to share a video explaining what commitment they would achieve in the short term and a more ambitious or far-reaching one to be implemented by 2030.
From September to November, the videos were published on the social channels and Web sites of the three newspapers. We received more than 60 videos from organisations, institutions, and companies in Verona, Vicenza, and Brescia.
These were sifted through by our editorial staff, which produced three “short lists” of five objectives considered most relevant for each city. They were published on the newspapers’ Web sites, and the citizens of those provinces were asked to vote on the order of priority of the five sustainable objectives of their territory.
From this, three final documents were written:
- Agenda Verona 2022/2030.
- Agenda Vicenza 2022/2030.
- Agenda Brescia 2022/2030.
Each contains the sustainable goals and major themes of the three cities at the end of the big event held on December 15, 2021.
Heading to the future
The first year of activity of Agenda Sustainability ended in 2021. It has served to contribute — through the media operating in Brescia, Verona, and Vicenza — to outline the future of these territories along the route of environmental, social, and economic sustainability. We fielded our brands — from newspapers to Web sites, from social media to radio, TV, and books — and deployed our entire team to organise, implement, and promote events and editorial initiatives.
The editorial offices of the Bresciaoggi, L’Arena, and Il Giornale di Vicenza newspapers explored the topic in-depth with weekly pages, inserts, magazines, and roundtables.
We involved more than 60 key stakeholders from the three provinces and engaged over 60,500 citizens who voted on their priorities. The last event of December 15, 2021, was sent live on Web sites and social networks and seen by over 50,000 people.
Our commitment does not stop here but continues in 2022. Aware of the urgent need to promote real change, the Athesis ideas laboratory will remain open to verify that the priorities — indicated to us by stakeholders — are actually put into practice and within the promised timeframe. In addition, the editorial staff will not abandon the front line in keeping the debate alive to help achieve the goal of improving the quality of life and to stimulate sustainable development.