As pressure mounts to move towards a low-carbon world, the need for a more sustainable food system is becoming ever more urgent.
Describe your Lovie Finalist project. What’s the elevator pitch?

The FAIRR Initiative is a collaborative investor network that raises awareness of the material sustainability risks and opportunities in the meat, fish and dairy industries. FAIRR helps investors to identify and prioritise these factors through cutting-edge research that can be integrated into investment decision-making. They also run collaborative investor engagements with global food companies to improve sustainability performance.

The new website showcases the breadth of FAIRR’s research and data, spanning 107 companies and 9 key issues. A new dashboard houses exclusive content for FAIRR’s investor members.

What inspired this particular cause as the subject of your work?

The world’s reliance on meat and dairy is accelerating biodiversity loss, land and water use and climate change. Livestock production alone makes up 15% of global GHG emissions. As pressure mounts to move towards a low-carbon world, the need for a more sustainable food system is becoming ever more urgent.

Investors have the power to influence global companies and use this impact for good. FAIRR’s research helps investors understand how these issues present risks to their portfolios – and outlines opportunities to be gained from the rise of plant-based alternatives. Together with its members, they are building a sustainable food system that benefits planet and profit.

What real-world impact were you hoping to make with this project?

FAIRR’s primary aim is to educate investors on the importance of sustainability issues in the animal protein industry and help them integrate this information into investment decision-making. Since launching the new website in May 2019, demand for membership has increased dramatically, with the total assets managed by FAIRR’s investor network growing by more than 50% from $12.5 trillion to $19.3 trillion. An increasing number of investors now have access to exclusive research that helps them make more sustainable investments.

Did your team have a specific “breakthrough” moment when conceiving or executing this project that you can share?

When we started working with FAIRR, we could see their passion for the issues and targeted approach in raising these with new audiences. However, their unique & extensive research languished in PDFs that were neither interactive nor discoverable via search engines.

Why not bring the data to life? Building on FAIRR’s existing catalogue, we did just that – placing their wealth of data at the forefront of the digital experience, ensuring it was easy to locate, digestible & fully interactive, exactly what users need to utilise it in their decision-making. Personalised dashboards allow users to collate reports, watch companies & stay up-to-date with latest news & events, driving registrations.

Was the tech/medium you chose essential to conveying your message? If so, why?

One of the main issues previously faced by the client was the fact that none of their content existed in a truly interactive or targeted way. Their previous website was holding them back in terms of scale and flexibility. We wanted to make sure the site had longevity and was prepared for future engagements, with built in scope to expand as its members and activity continued to grow.

Our completely modular approach allows FAIRR to utilise all assets in any order, giving them truly adaptable templates for any use case. From a technical perspective, we utilised the lightweight and data driven principles of Vue.js to create dynamic tables and graphs, taking the research beyond PDFs and jpegs.

What was the greatest challenge that arose during your work on this? What about the most rewarding moment?

When you think of sustainability & organisations that work in this area, the design cues that are often utilised didn’t seem appropriate given the context, subject matter & profile of our target audience. We needed to find ways to highlight the key issues while ensuring FAIRR was represented by a clean & professional design that would connect with C suite executives & those working in investment.

The growth in the network & knowing that its important research is reaching an increasing number of the right people is really rewarding. It’s proof that together we’ve managed to present the issues in a new and engaging way which excites an audience not traditionally associated with this area.

What did you learn in the process of creating this work that you didn't know/expect going in?

Our knowledge of Environmental Social Governance (ESG) issues has increased beyond all recognition, but we think what’s most striking in term of light bulb moments is the level of engagement that can be achieved through this sort of activity, and the demand that’s out there amongst the investment community for this type of content.

Hopefully as FAIRR continue to grow and as these issues become more mainstream, they’ll have the platform that will allow them to keep up the unique and really meaningful work they’ve produced to date.

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