Using social networking to protect the planet

18 March 2013 | Brad Coughlan, National Government Industry Manager, Microsoft Australia

Originally conceived in Sydney, Australia, today Earth Hour is one of the largest environmental events ever held and takes place annually around the world. By encouraging participants to turn off non-essential lights for one hour – from 8:30pm to 9:30pm local time – the movement hopes to spread awareness about climate change and the need to take action. The organization partners with governments across the globe, and in fact, just announced finalists in its Earth Hour City Challenge, an initiative that aims to help cities become more “green.” Cities such as Vancouver, Canada; Delhi, India; and Oslo, Norway, are among the finalists in the challenge to become more environmentally friendly.

Earth Hour was faced with a significant challenge, however. With a core staff of only eight people, the campaign needed a platform to organize and connect with users spread out around the world in order to build on its momentum and successes. To do this, Earth Hour turned to social and digital media to expand the reach of its efforts. It decided to implement Yammer – a social network designed for the enterprise – to share information, collaborate on successful initiatives, and ultimately, stay organized. Yammer has enabled Earth Hour to communicate with users in 54 languages in 135 countries, and helps its small staff connect with thousands of organizers and hundreds of millions of participants. In addition, users can access information from any device, which lets them view and share resources from any location, any time of the day.

The platform has revolutionized how Earth Hour approaches organizing and has delivered outstanding results along the way. It has fostered a global network that lets users easily collaborate and share best practices, and has enabled the movement to work more efficiently and reach more users. Citizens play a key role in driving successful environmental initiatives within a nation, and this a great example of how tools like Yammer can provide the capabilities to nurture these types of efforts. To learn more, I encourage you to check this video case study.

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Brad Coughlan
National Government Industry Manager, Microsoft Australia

About the Author

Brad Coughlan | National Government Industry Manager, Microsoft Australia

Brad has 25 years’ experience in information and communications technology (ICT) and related industries, and has worked extensively in both the private and public sectors. Read more