Helping North Yorkshire businesses become more sustainable
How to operate more sustainably is becoming increasingly important to SMEs but with so many other challenges demanding the attention of business owners it can slip down the agenda. To support local North Yorkshire businesses become more sustainable, the York and North Yorkshire LEP wanted to produce a series of e-guides, an ebook, and an animation to give business owners the tools, support and knowledge to make achievable changes to their businesses. The guides were to be published in line with Circular Yorkshire Month, running throughout November 2020.
After winning the tender due to our demonstrated commitment to and understanding of sustainability challenges and the circular economy we worked with freelance designer Will Saunders, and video production company Feature Media for the design and animation aspects.
Clear and actionable copy
The e-guides had to be written in a way which made them as accessible as possible for busy business owners. And they had to signpost readers to resources and tools which would help them take steps towards becoming a circular business.
The challenge here is that the circular economy is a big topic, especially if you’re new to it. Explaining such a complex subject with minimal copy is a big task. We had to inform but not overwhelm, inspire not demotivate.
We spent a long time researching different resources and worked closely with both the Y&NY LEP and Growth Hub to understand feedback from the business community on what concerns them and why.
We kept the sections short, used imagery to illustrate points and supplied 6 clear steps for each of the 6 benefits to business guides. The result was a clear, useful and modern set of guides on how to incorporate the circular economy into your business.
Developing an initial concept
For the design, we built on an existing concept idea created by the client which hadn’t been developed. To keep the design clean and modern, Will used the mono-line style throughout the guides and updated the icons and colours to give the whole project a fresher feel. In addition, we redefined the benefit headlines and statements so they could be used independently of the guides on internal and external communications promoting Circular Yorkshire.
Using animation to tell a circular story
The animation was an important element of the project and the first thing visitors to the Growth Hub website would see when they landed on the page. It needed to set the scene, tell a story and convey the opportunities for SMEs in the region, all in under three minutes.
When writing the script for this we wanted to bring the viewer with us and show them what possibilities lay in every corner of their business and make clear the many positive benefits for them and their community. When the script was signed off, Julie and the Feature Media team worked to create animation which took the 6 benefits to business and created a visual story of the power of the circular economy for the region’s organisations.
The guides were well received by the local business community including the FSB and Chamber of Commerce. As this is a newly launched project, we’ll update the results and impact over the next few months.