Dentsu Launches Sustainability Initiative to Train Young People and Reduce Waste

    ‘Rise Up’ Challenge will aim to upskill 10,000 young people in digital media and creative communications.

    By The Staff - Sep 24, 2021
    Dentsu Launches Sustainability Initiative to Train Young People and Reduce Waste

    Dentsu International has announced the launch of its first global ‘Rise Up’ Challenge to upskill 10,000 young people in digital media and creative communications and showcase their best campaign ideas to inspire consumers to drastically reduce their food waste.

    Food waste is a significant factor in both climate change and biodiversity loss and is responsible for an estimated 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with one-third of all food produced ending up in landfill sites.

    ‘Rise Up’ will be delivered through a series of local challenges, the first of which began in the UK, building on Dentsu’s schools and early careers programme The Code. It will bring together young people, Dentsu volunteers around the world, and major consumer brand clients including Co-Op, with the goal of inspiring consumer behaviour change and creating new solutions to eliminate food waste.


    This is the first time that Dentsu’s ‘Rise Up’ Challenge has focused on a global theme and unites its 45,000 employees with a common mission in response to unprecedented calls for climate action.

    Students participating in the challenge will engage in virtual and in-person workshops powered by Dentsu volunteers, learning the key skills of advertising, and develop campaigns that address briefs set by Dentsu with its clients. Participants are exposed to the many career options within advertising and winning entrants have the opportunity of internships or work experience with Dentsu.

    “Food waste is not just a matter of what gets left on plates – the world is squandering natural resources, harming biodiversity and increasing emissions simply by throwing away too much of the food we produce. The Rise Up Challenge is a rallying cry to a generation of young people who want to make a difference in this world,” said Anna Lungley, Chief Sustainability Officer, dentsu international.


    “Through The Code we can give them the tools and techniques to not only campaign for sustainable behaviour change but also build the work ready skills they need for the future.With the UN’s Biodiversity Summit and COP26 almost upon us, there will never be a more important time to seek inspiration from a diverse pool of young people who want to be activists for positive change and connect them to the companies that produce so much of the food we eat,” she added.

    With 65% of children entering schools today predicted to end up in jobs that don’t yet exist, The Code aims to equip young people aged 15-24 with the creative and digital skills needed to thrive. Operating primarily in schools in areas of social disadvantage, it is also widening access to the media and advertising industry for the next generation of diverse talent.

    As part of its ambitious Social Impact strategy Dentsu has set a goal of creating 100,000 empowered digital citizens by 2030.

    Teachers and students can register for more information or access the curriculum here.

    “I am incredibly proud that the module for Rise Up – produced in Singapore by our creative team, is now rolled out worldwide. This is our first unifying global theme on building a sustainable world, by looking at how brands can reduce consumer food waste,” said Phil Adrien, CEO, Creative, dentsu Asia Pacific and Co-chair of dentsu diversity board APAC.

    “Riding on our commitment to using ‘digital for good’ and furthering a fair and open society, The Code also opens the doors of our industry to future talent. It empowers young people from underprivileged backgrounds with creative communications experience and offers the opportunity to work with some of our biggest clients.”

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