MullenLowe Group APAC launches sustainability practice, picks new lead

MullenLowe Group APAC has unveiled MullenLowe Sustainability, its new practice offering specialist support to businesses and brands across the region in their sustainability efforts. The practice will form part of MullenLowe salt Singapore, the strategic communications arm of the business. MullenLowe Sustainability aims to aid brands in building better businesses by offering a range of services to businesses at all stages in their sustainability journey. This includes industry and competitor assessment, report creation, internal and external communications and partnership brokering. The team will also work with its partners to provide end-to-end sustainability support service.

The agency has also appointed Sarah Cragg to lead the practice. According to her LinkedIn, Cragg (pictured) joined MullenLowe salt Singapore in 2017 as an account director, and was subsequently promoted to associate director, sustainability in 2018. Prior to her time with MullenLowe, Cragg was also with Ben & Jerry's, where she helmed the role of head of impact and activism, Asia and new markets.   

Cragg said while the world faces issues from climate change to social division and the impacts of COVID-19, the agency is seeing more and more businesses keen to step up and be part of the solutions. "Every business and every industry sector has a role to play in making change happen and we want to help them do so. By making sustainable changes, they will not only make their businesses more competitive but also have a chance at having a real impact on the communities they serve," she added.

Suzy Goulding, director, MullenLowe salt Singapore added that the timing is "absolutely right" for the agency to launch a dedicated sustainability practice in Asia, to help brands and businesses that are looking to address these problems. "Changing both business and consumer behaviour is key to taking on these challenges and communications has a significant role to play in making this happen," she added.

Brands from across various sectors are indeed stepping up on their sustainability efforts. Most recently, we see Audi launch a new brand campaign which emphasised on sustainability, digitalisation and design as its core themes. The brand also highlights its transformation towards sustainable and digital premium mobility. Similarly, beauty brand L'Oreal launched a global sustainability program “L’Oréal for the future”, where the brand aims to achieve carbon neutrality at all of its sites by 2025, replace 100% of its plastic packaging with more sustainable ingredients by 2030, and to reduce half of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as well. Other brands incorporating sustainability efforts include alcohol brand Diageo, insurance brand MSIG, and even digital payment platform Alipay. 

The MullenLowe Sustainability team is currently working with WWF Singapore and were the official PR partners for UN Global Compact Network Singapore’s Virtual Summit this year, which aimed to highlight the need for more sustainability commitments and actions from businesses across Asia. According to the agency, the team has also signed a new client Kaer, an air conditioning system supplier in Asia, this month. More recent sustainability clients include PepsiCo, Asia Pacific Breweries, Lifebuoy, and agricultural innovation and technology company Syngenta. 

Meanwhile, MullenLowe salt has 20 years of experience in driving impactful purpose-driven sustainability campaigns. The agency provided leadership on Lifebuoy’s "Help A Child Reach 5" campaign, where it aims to help more children reach their fifth birthday through good handwashing habits. The agency also developed a successful advocacy campaign for handwashing with soap to be included in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and co-created the global strategy for Global Handwashing Day.

MullenLowe Group APAC has been going through a few changes in recent years. Earlier last month, its agency in Philippines rebranded to MullenLowe Treyna following a buyout by local shareholders Treyna Holdings - the holding company of MullenLowe Philippines. Under the terms of the deal, IPG will retain its significant direct investment in the rebranded agency. 

Separately last year, MullenLowe Malaysia changed its ownership, following a management buyout which sees its CEO Adrian Sng obtaining full ownership of the business. The agency is now known as MullenLowe Sng & Partners Malaysia. The move was said to provide greater agility for the operation in Malaysia to be more responsive to the needs of its clients and the local market. Although bought out, the agency will still remain part of the MullenLowe Group network as an affiliate business partner, retaining access to the network's global tools and expertise.

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