By NICOLE NEMETH
On March 28 Conestoga students from the integrated marketing communications program launched another successful event promoting Cadillac Fairview’s Green at Work initiative.
Green is the New Black was the title of the third project where Conestoga students teamed up with Fairview Park Mall to inform the public about environmental sustainability as part of their major project. Thanks to the partnership, the mall gains promotion and exposure for their initiative while the students gain real-life experience in event planning, project management, creative strategies and media relations.
“The key thing is, they get to actually apply the theoretical principles in a real-life experience,” said Steve Howell, a professor in the program. “They’re working with a real budget, they’re working with a real client, they’re engaging with a real target market … So the learning has been really how to understand, respond and exceed a client’s expectations.”
Cadillac Fairview’s Green at Work, a sustainability program, started in 2008. Since then, the mall has reduced its energy use by 16 per cent, water consumption by 28 per cent and improved waste diversion by 10 per cent, compared to the 2008 baseline year.
“Green at Work is a Cadillac Fairview program that encourages the tenants in their mall to do things more environmentally sound: reduce water, recycle and reduce waste,” said Kim Denstedt, program co-ordinator.
All 23 students in the program had to work together to pull off this major assignment. They could easily be seen in their bright green T-shirts, encouraging shoppers to participate. Scott Waddington was chosen to be the project manager because it was his team’s idea that had been selected as the best representation of what the client wanted.
“It’s my job to oversee everything and make sure that we get everything completed on time and to make sure we can execute the whole thing,” he said.
Although the students appeared to be excited and full of smiles, it was still a tough job to pull off in a short amount of time.
Waddington said, “It’s taught me a lot about time management and making sure that we work with outside resources to get stuff. We have to make sure we have constant communication … Working within such a tight time frame has definitely been a challenge.”
The event was comprised of three booths spread across the mall, each with stations focusing on sustainability At Home, At Work and On the Go.
“We had an initial meeting with the client and she was telling us how Green at Work is about environmental sustainability and wanted to tie it back to the consumers who interact with it. So we thought if we taught them how to be green at home, green at work and green on the go, it gives them that incentive to pay attention to it,” Waddington said.
There were different activities for both children and adults at each station.
At Home featured a rain bucket decoration station that encouraged children to collect rain water and a recycle bin sorting game for adults. The At Work booth had a large Jenga game for children, promoting green practices at school, and an office makeover game for adults. On the Go promoted environmentally friendly transportation through a trivia game, a smart-cycle that powered a television and self-propelled cars that were donated by THEMUSEUM.
Once completed, participants would receive either a tote bag, water bottle or light bulb. Shoppers who visited all three stations were eligible to win various prizes including tickets to see the Rangers, the Symphony or coupons to various stores within the mall, among other prizes.