Transparency as the key for good communication on environment and pollution stories

Press Release -

As part of the partner events of the EU Green Week 2021, ICONS held the panel discussion investigating communication best practices to boost the European zero pollution ambition

The online panel discussion titled “EU’s zero pollution ambition – Best practice in science communication”, held the 8th June by ICONS, explored how a fair, accurate and engaging communication can change the people’s behaviours, preserve the environment and make our economy green and sustainable.

The event was one of the official initiatives of the EU Green Week, which this year was dedicated to the European zero-pollution plan that is part of the strategy of the EU Green Deal.

The experts of the panel presented case histories and best practices, highlighting the fact that communication needs to be tailored to the right social actors (policymakers, media, researchers, general public, managers, NGOs etc.), who need specific languages. 

Jacopo Pasotti, reporter and photographer working for many international newspapers and magazines such as National Geographic, El Pais, Science, presented – through case histories – pittfalls and virtuous behaviours when dealing with journalism and science communication addressing a general public. Walking the line between ‘selling’ a story and ‘hyping’ it is a challenging task: his main recommendation is to provide the audience with a transparent communication, which also shows the limits of the innovations.  

Rach Colling, head of Communications at the European Forest Institute (EFI), with over 20 years’ experience in science communication explained how environmental communication can reach and engage policymakers: a challenging target, which has the legal power to transform a green ambition into a reality. She presented the case study of the EFI work on the bark beetles plague, which helped the Czech Parliament in deciding a few important legal reforms in 2019, to improve the resilience of forests. 

Veronica Meneghello, project manager at ICONS, leading organisation in science communication, social and business innovation, presented the lesson learnt from the EU project eTeacher. It is studing how to boost energy savings in buildings and improve the people’s behaviours. One of the most interesting approach tested by the project is based on the nudge theory, a concept that was popularised by behavioral economist Professor Richard Thaler, with which he won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Another engaging solution used by the researchers is gamification. eTeacher is developing a user friendly app currently tested by the pilot buildings in Europe, with more than 5.000 people involved.

The full panel is available here.