Social impact: The National Climate Week

Dutch National Climate Week

Client Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy

Partner Campagne

Nomination Sabre Awards

In 2022, for the second time in a row, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy organised National Climate Week. Its purpose? To show people, companies and councils the Netherlands how you can contribute to a better climate. Just like the previous edition, the theme week aims to inspire and mobilise the Netherlands with the question: what can I do for a better climate? Never change a winning a team, as the English say. So again, we collaborated with fellow agency and creative partner Campagne in Rotterdam for the project. We expanded the PR and communication strategy with a more intensive combination of paid, earned and owned media.


The ministry’s objectives were:

  • Reach 2 million people through (social) media and 1 million people with a national kick-off
  • Create attention for National Climate Week in national, regional and local media
  • Achieve at least 1 item on national TV
  • Ensure that Climate Supporters make a tangible contribution to the National Climate Week

The war in Ukraine and sky-high gas prices in the run-up to and during the National Climate Week meant that we had to constantly sharpen our message and align it with the sentiment at the time. We didn’t want to annoy people or businesses by simply mentioning the climate benefits of CO-2-saving measures. At the same time, in a climate campaign you cannot and should not try to convince people with purely economic arguments. And besides, the target group is diverse, from climate front runners to climate beginners. A balancing act that we as a team, together with the ministry, had to constantly work on.

The previous edition proved that our strategy, targeting individual Dutch people as well as companies and organisations, worked. Therefore, it remained in place and our task was to hone and expand it.

Track 1: Climate Mayors inspire the public

To inspire all Dutch people with appealing regional and local examples, we developed the concept of ‘Climate Mayors’ in 2021. During the first edition, we recruited 142 Climate Mayors from municipalities across the country. To make the green movement more impactful and inspire even more people at the local level, the Climate Mayors community needed to grow. We started by approaching the Climate Mayors from 2021 asking if they would like to get involved again.

Then, through regional and local media, we called on people to sign up as local climate spokesperson. An inspirer who encourages others to also take action and who can be interviewed by local media with their inspiring and authentic story. Like the previous year, we facilitated the Climate Mayors with a specially developed toolkit with resources for social media and a National Climate Week flag, made of 100% recycled PVC bottles.

Many fascinating people with inspiring stories and ideas are applying for the position of Climate Mayor. Like Yfke and Yenthe (11) from Boxtel. They make short films to inspire other children to take climate-conscious steps. They don’t let their parents drive them to school any longer, switch off lights when they are on unnecessarily, eat (almost) completely vegetarian food and no longer take baths. Ton Belderok connects all kinds of parties in Haarlem to make more impact together, by encouraging more people to plant plants and collect rainwater. He is also actively involved in the children’s council and children’s mayor of Haarlem to put climate on the agenda there too. But there are 243 other inspiring stories! They are all committed Climate Mayors who are work hard for a better climate and also inspire and support us as a team to strengthen and expand this community.

Track 2: companies and organisations become Climate Supporters

There was more focus on Climate Supporters this edition compared to the previous year. Climate Supporters are organisations, associations and also municipalities that actively commit to reducing their CO2 emissions and thus set a good example, such as the Chocolatemakers from Amsterdam, the municipality of Zaltbommel and ASN bank. In addtion, they support the goal of the National Climate Week. We recruited Climate Supporters through local and regional media but also through B2B media and organisations such as RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency) and trade associations, such as the VHG (Gardeners Association). For the registered Climate Supporters, we developed a toolkit including posters, roll-up banners, images, presentations and a ready-made press release. We shared the most inspiring stories in videos and posts on social media.

The second National Climate Week took place at a time when we were facing high energy prices. Energy saving was high on everyone’s agenda. I am proud of the efforts of all of the Climate Mayors and Supporters and think it is a great result that after this second edition, many people had heard of the Week and/or participated. The National Climate Week community will only continue to grow in the coming years.

Marianne Zandstra
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy


The campaign was divided into phases to familiarise the public with the National Climate Week early on and have enough time to share inspiration and increase outreach. For example, we recruited Climate Mayors through local media well before the Climate Week. This allowed us to collect their stories in advance and share them with media to maintain visibility throughout the campaign.

  • June 2022: first announcement via 288tailor-made press releases in local media: “The first Climate Week starts on 31 October. Who will become Climate Mayor in Heerlen?”. And a first call for Climate Supporters in B2B media.
  • August 2022: second media approach to find Climate Mayors and supporters in missing  municipalities and through B2B media.
  • September 2022: third media offensive to find the last Climate Mayors.
  • 31 October 2022: start of National Climate Week with 245 Climate Mayors. Once again, we shared their inspiring stories through tailor-made local press releases. Local media all over the country interviewed ‘their’ Climate Mayors, resulting in even more publications. And, perhaps more importantly: even more stories that inspired others.

Live Kick-off

We kicked off the National Climate Week on 31 October with a virtual kick-off with all the Climate Mayors and Supporters, as well as with minister Rob Jetten. Minister Jetten gave the go-ahead for the Climate Week and during the kick-off he entered into a conversation with several Climate Mayors and Climate Supporters about their motivation to contribute to a better climate. Afterwards, he set off for The Hague on the Climate bus. Along the way, several conversations between various Climate Mayors and Climate Supporters were held with the minister on topics such as youngsters and the climate and consummation. The day ended in The Hague where Secretary of State Vivianne Heijnen discussed sustainable mobility and sustainable living and building with a select group of Climate Mayors and Climate Supporters. The kick-off could be followed online throughout the Netherlands.


Inspiring content

Besides PR, content was an important part of the National Climate Week. Our partner Campaign converted the collected stories into various fixed content formats, meant for consistent and long-term communication. For instance, videos were made with a number of Climate Mayors and Supporters in which they explain what they do for a better climate, shared tips and events during and after the week and let people follow along at sustainable events throughout the week with Climate Week Live.


The second edition of National Climate Week couldn’t be missed. The results were even better than for the first edition:

  • 45%of Dutch people knew what the National Climate Week was after the event. That’s 7.9 million people.
  • The National Climate Week was widely discussed in the country. Questions were asked about it in parliament, the week was discussed on talk shows and on the streets amongst Dutch people.
  • A potential reach of 117 million via PR (+149% vs 2021).
  • A reach of over 105 million via social media (+950% vs 2021).
  • 2535 articlesin national, regional and local media (+117% vs 2021).
  • 245 Climate Mayors and 167 Climate Supporters.

Our experience with tailor-made approaches for local media in particular paid off again during this second edition of National Climate Week. It is great to see how media gave Climate Mayors a stage and thus mobilised other people to take action. Thanks to a very good cooperation with Campagne and the ministry, we achieved a fantastic result.

Helen Taylor
Helen Taylor