Category Archives: News

Celebrating Kenya’s Climate Justice Heroes on Mashujaa Day

Here at Gong, our clients span a wide range of sectors from fintech to sustainability and climate, from green building to agribusiness, to e-mobility, to private equity and international development, so our team does a lot of online reading and research to keep up to date with what’s being talked about, what’s new and original and what’s coming next.

For Mashujaa Day this year, we wanted to tell you a bit about three of the recent (green) local heroes who have popped up on our radar, so we asked one of our new guest bloggers, Andrew Juma, to go and meet them. This is what he found out.


It’s a watershed moment in Kenya and across East Africa. Young people are devising pragmatic solutions to the problem of climate change. They are building new technology solutions, inventing sustainable products and producing strategic content to combat the pressing issue of climate change.


TIMAO GROUP is a startup revolutionizing housing in Kenya and Africa through long-term sustainable solutions. They make building materials from plastic waste and are committed to improving accessibility to affordable, dignified, eco-friendly living.

“Our desire is to revolutionize housing in Africa by providing affordable, quality homes,” says Ishmael Hezekiah, the Chief Product Officer at TIMAO Group.

“Currently in Kenya, we generate 2600 tons of plastic waste but only 8% of this is recycled. In addition, Kenya has an annual deficit of 85,000 housing units annually. Our focus is to change this narrative by transforming waste plastic into building materials thus addressing the challenges of home ownership and climate change.”

TIMAO builds four housing units per month using plastic waste. In so doing, they have reduced the carbon footprint of construction processes, improved access to shelter and eliminated post-consumer plastic waste from the streets.

“In the past 16 months, we have churned out over 4,000 plastic posts, lumber planks and constructive material (our plastic construction system),” says Ishmael.

“From this, we have offset at least 320 tons of GHG emissions from the environment. A 40 SQM unit offsets 10 tons of plastic waste from the environment.”


Michelle Muchillwa is a Kenyan teenager with big dreams aligned towards sustainability. Her brainchild, the Ziwa Safi App, is now the X factor in comprehensive data collection for plastic pollution prevention in the Lake Victoria region.

Michelle’s app has significantly powered strategies, action plans and progress tracking in efforts to clean Lake Victoria, which is inundated with plastics and microplastics that frustrate natural flora and fauna.

In 2021, Ziwa Safi scooped the top spot (second only to a Malaysian gender violence prevention app) in the World Technovation Challenge. The app is now available on the Google Play store for global use.

Francis Maina, a young climate activist and architect with the Solar Cooling Project, helps design and construct Net zero cold rooms, emphasizing local and sustainable materials.

“The construction sector alone contributes to 44% of the total greenhouse gas emissions, even more than the transport and industry sector, which made me take this sustainability path,” says Francis. “We always try to work with materials that sequester carbon during their growth and life cycle.

Francis has launched his startup, Franchise Green Design, and looks forward to making a greater positive impact through quality sustainable solutions.

“I think certifications like IFC EDGE help provide a valuable framework for building companies to align their operation with ESG goals and for project owners to assess the most cost-effective ways to achieve sustainability in their projects.”


“The most pressing climate risk confronting Kenya and the global community today is the increasing unpredictability of weather patterns and extreme weather conditions,” says Winnie Cheche, a celebrated eco-blogger and climate activist in Kenya.

“My professional focus centres on the convergence of environmental communication and climate activism, and over the past eight years, I have committed myself to instigating positive change in the face of our planet’s most formidable challenge, the climate crisis.”

Winnie’s efforts have garnered recognition from esteemed publications such as Nation Media, Greenpeace International, Greenpeace Africa, Greenpeace UK, La Stampa Newspaper, Greiner Talks, Global Citizen, and Pass the Mic.

Winnie found her voice on social media after an incident where elephants were portrayed as ‘confused’ in local press when they invaded farms belonging to the neighbouring local communities. With her background in Wildlife Management, she knew that this portrayal was misleading and wanted to highlight that in fact climate change was the root cause of erratic wildlife behaviour.

She says there is a need to have climate solutions tailored to local contexts and that responses to climate change must resonate with African communities.

“While advocating on the streets remains crucial, a more vigilant and strategic approach is needed to secure a genuine seat at the table where tangible actions transpire. Current participatory mechanisms often exclude the public, resulting in suboptimal policies.”

These people on the frontline of the climate battle understand the most significant and severe impacts of the crisis from personal experience. They sacrifice and stretch their livelihoods every day, fighting to secure a destruction-free future.

So, while things might have cooled off on the streets of Nairobi, the fight for climate change continues on, and in celebration of Mashujaa day here at Gong, we salute all the heroes and change-makers!

But this is just the start. Over the coming months we will be exploring where innovation is blossoming across different sectors and want to profile as many brilliant people as we can who are helping to fight the good fight in supporting and driving positive change.

We are calling on you – yes, that means you – to send us your suggestions of who you think fits the bill of being a future green legend. We want to hear about all the amazing venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, corporate advocates, activists, influencers, academics, policy experts and youth leaders you rate as leading the charge in the green economy.

We’ll then publish a list of our favourite change-makers and look to share it far and wide, to help spread their message and influence across our precious planet. So don’t be shy: we’re ready to hear about your Kenyan (or African – because we’re not going to put a limit on where these come from) suggestions at!

[Thank you to Andrew Juma for submitting this blog].

Reflections on the B Lab Africa Summit 2023: A journey towards sustainable impact

By Janet Ndugire, Senior Account Manager, Gong Communications

Last week, hot on the tail of the inaugural Africa Climate Summit the week before, I had the privilege of attending the B Lab Africa Summit 2023, hosted by B Lab Africa at Strathmore University in Nairobi. The event was themed, ‘Innovating a Sustainable Future for Africa: Business for Climate Impact and Growth’, and brought together an inspiring group of visionary leaders, passionate advocates, and experts dedicated to sustainable business practices. Among the attendees were sustainable business leaders, investors, climate experts, youth entrepreneurs, government officials, and change-makers from various corners of Africa. The diversity of perspectives and backgrounds represented at the summit underlined the gravity of the challenges we face and the importance of collective action to address them.

Giovanna Valverde Stark, the Ambassador of Costa Rica and Permanent Representative of UNEP and UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme), delivered the keynote address. She shared invaluable insights from Costa Rica, a nation that has achieved an impressive milestone of 100% renewable energy among other noteworthy accomplishments in combating climate change, by integrating climate change considerations across all public policies and budgetary decisions.

One of the standout features of the B Lab Africa Summit was its remarkable lineup of speakers, including, Vincent Ogutu, Vice-Chancellor of Strathmore University, Joachim Westerveld, CEO, Bio Foods Products, Joseph Mucheru, Former Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Kenya, Patrick McSharry, Chief Data Analytics Officer, World Data Lab, Sonia Orwa, Country CEO, Kenya, Mr.Green Africa, Amandine de Rosnay, Head of Sustainability and Inclusive Growth Business Mauritius and Head of SUNREF technical assistance. The workshop sessions offered deep dives into critical sustainability topics, and here are just some of the sessions that left a lasting impression:  and Eco2Librium (both B Corps) hosted a workshop centered on carbon markets and the value these markets offer to sustainable businesses. The speakers noted that carbon offsetting is a valuable tool for mitigating climate change and demonstrating environmental responsibility, and projects can take various forms, such as reforestation efforts, renewable energy installations, methane capture from landfills, or energy-efficient initiatives. Anton Espira, CEO/Founder of Eco2Librium ended the session by saying, “Carbon markets are the bridge between business success and environmental stewardship. By harnessing the potential of carbon markets, we empower businesses in Africa to not only thrive economically but also become champions of sustainability for our planet.”

One of Eco2Librium’s carbon offset projects in Kakamega, Kenya, is not only eco-friendly but socially impactful. Their Stoves for Life initiative not only reduces emissions but also generates employment for over 500 individuals. By sourcing stoves locally and distributing them to independent contractors, this circular project addresses environmental and social challenges, saving 250 acres of forest each year, and enhancing the lives of 400,000 rural Kenyans, promoting better health and economic well-being.

Another session, Integrating Business Sustainability and Smart Finance spanned topics such as the green economy, sustainable financing, and the transition from extractive to regenerative economic systems. Edward Matsiko, Managing Partner at Pearl Capital Partners commented, “Awareness of sustainable business practices in African local communities must be done differently and messages must be localised.” He talked about Africa’s incredible diversity, from bustling urban centres to remote villages, demanding tailored solutions for its unique sustainability challenges and opportunities. Many African economies depend on natural resources and agriculture, making resilience crucial. Sustainable practices not only benefit the environment but also enhance economic stability, reducing vulnerability to shocks.

Edward added that smart finance tools like impact investing and green bonds channel funds into sustainable sectors, driving economic growth while mitigating environmental impact.

A recurring theme throughout the Summit was the importance of customisation when it comes to sustainability in Africa, and we were reminded that Africa’s unique landscape presents a mosaic of challenges and opportunities. Cultural nuances, developmental disparities, and localised economic conditions all influence how businesses approach social and environmental impact. Consequently, adopting a standardised international B Corp selection process may not fully capture the intricate realities that African businesses face.

“For local communities to address climate change, we must meet them at their point of need. Our youth exhibit remarkable innovation. Kenyans in low-income areas are exemplifying a lot of climate resilience and pioneering innovative solutions.” Sonia Orwa, CEO, Kenya, Mr. Green Africa.

With over 55 B Corps and an impressive 4500+ companies utilising B Lab’s impact measurement tools across the continent, the B Lab Africa Summit 2023 by B Lab Africa represents Africa’s commitment to integrating social and environmental responsibility into business practices. It reaffirms that sustainability is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor but a collaborative journey of customisation, adaptation, and collective action, and that the continent is on the right track.

As a sustainability-driven communications agency in Kenya, our commitment to contributing to the community’s efforts in reshaping how organisations operate and make a meaningful impact remains unwavering. In 2020, in collaboration with Danone and B Lab, we teamed up with our sister company, Gong Communications, and developed a valuable e-learning tool designed to enhance awareness and understanding of B Corp principles among employees in B Corp certified companies. This tool is applicable to both certified B Corps and those in the process of becoming certified.

For international communications support in East Africa and beyond, please do get in touch with our sustainability team at: From its Nairobi base, Gong Kenya has delivered communications assignments for clients in over 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and is part of a network of agencies operating globally.

Gong wins at 2023 Sabre awards for third consecutive year

Gong Communications was delighted to win two Certificates of Excellence at the 2023 Africa SABRE Awards, which recognise superior achievement in branding, reputation, and engagement.

This year, Gong’s corporate communications team, which operates out of its London and Nairobi offices, was recognised for its work across Africa with two international clients, the Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE) and Aon, the multinational financial services firm.

Gong’s international development communications team has worked as GLIDE’s PR partner since 2021 and received recognition within the SABRE award’s Central Africa category for its media relations support, naming and launching its inaugural Falcon Awardsas well as developing and managing the content for GLIDE’s Webisodes Campaign, “Building Awareness to End Diseases of Poverty”.

As D&I communications experts, the Gong Communications’ Aon team was commended once again this year, alongside its local partners Phyllion & Partners Limited, within the Superior Achievement in Research and Planning category for their work on Dive In Nigeria. The 2022 event was Gong’s third year in a row supporting the insurance giant’s Nigeria event, which is part of the global Dive In Festival – originally developed with Gong and the largest diversity and inclusion employee engagement brand platform of its type in the world. This year’s Dive In Festival will be held between 26th-28th September 2023 and will include branded events across the globe.

In 2021 the Aon team won a Certificate of Excellence in the Financial and Professional Services category within the Research and Planning and Public Education categories, and in 2022 the corporate communications team won both the Central Africa and Media Relations categories for its work with African private equity firm, Birimian Ventures.

The campaigns were evaluated by a jury of industry leaders, with this year’s winners announced at the Africa SABRE award ceremony on 18th May, as part of the 2023 African Public Relations Conference in Lusaka, Zambia.

East Africa’s climate tech innovators

By Janet Ndugire & Sarah Horsley


Just as COP27 began in Egypt, the UN reported that the past eight years have been the warmest on record. Nowhere is this more evident than here in Africa. Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are entering their fifth year of successive droughts. Across the Horn of Africa, 36 million people are affected by drought and that will rise to 80 million people by the end of the year if the rains are insufficient, according to the UN. At the same time, flooding in South Sudan, Uganda and Burundi have destroyed homes and crops and displaced millions.

Climate disasters are having a dire effect on the continent’s ability to produce food. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that $30 billion was lost in sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa from 2008 to 2018 due to declines in crop and livestock production in the aftermath of drought, floods and storms.

Research from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows that sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s most food insecure region. Climate-resilient infrastructure, such as solar power to run irrigation systems, is the key to protecting food production and distribution in Africa, according to the IMF. Digitalisation is also important, allowing farmers access to early warning weather systems, mobile banking and platforms to buy seeds, fertilisers and connect them with wholesale buyers.


Innovation hub


East Africa is fast being recognised as a hub for such agriculture and climate tech innovation. Research from Fitch Solutions this year identified Kenya as Africa’s top destination for agri-tech investment.  Agricultural insurance and technology company Pula helps smallholder farmers insure their crops and livestock against a wide range of climate risks, including drought, excessive rainfall, pests and disease. Pula’s partner, Apollo Agriculture, uses satellite imagery of farms and machine learning to guide with credit decision making. It also helps farmers diversify to high-yielding crops, providing access to wholesale orders on its checkout app.

While start-up Neruva Technologies has come up with a particularly innovative product: the ecocapsule. Powered by solar energy, this pop-up pod allows farmers to rear 2,000 fish every five months and 1,000 heads of crops every four months.  There are no harmful by-products as plant roots absorb the fish waste, avoiding the need for fertilisers and ensuring all yields are organic.

In Tanzania, EEP Africa funded ENdep is reducing post-harvest losses through the provision of solar-powered cold storage for fish traders around Lake Victoria. These shared cold storage rooms will also be used to store meat, dairy and crops, with women and youth prioritised on rental space to encourage them into this sector and boost livelihoods.  According to ENdep’s projections, the system will generate 105 MWh of clean energy per year.

Rwandan-based Shambapro, founded in 2018, is a next generation agtech start up which helps small scale farmers to develop their farms into sustainable businesses. The company has created a platform, accessible via an App, with simple-to-use farm management tools that enable them to maintain financial and production records, manage inventories and obtain access to financing.


Where is the support?


Early-stage climate-focused start-ups in East African countries face distinct challenges and barriers such as poor internet connectivity, an unreliable power supply, and a lack of access to funding making it challenging for climate tech start-ups to achieve scale.

Initiatives such as the EU funded Uganda Green Enterprise Accelerator provide some much needed support. SMEs, drawn from a broad range of sectors including eco-tourism, clean energy, sustainable transport, waste management, green manufacturing, and agro-processing are assisted through the early growth stage of their business via the sharing of skills and partnering with financial institutions to facilitate access to loans. One such enterprise is Nampya Farmers Market a food sourcing and distribution company aiming to improve transparency and protect precious food resources by reducing waste.  It has developed a digital platform for a formal agri-food marketplace connecting stakeholders throughout the supply chain thereby increasing affordable, quality, fresh and safe food access to urban populations in Uganda whilst improving smallholder farmers’ livelihoods.

The Kenya Climate Innovation Center backs local entrepreneurs looking to tackle climate change through technology, acting as an incubator and supporting with skills development and financing. The organisation, which has mobilised USD 44 million in financing for climate change and has incubated around 300 SMEs to date, is on a mission to deliver innovative climate change solutions through an empowered private sector.

Africa only accounts for two to three per cent of global emissions, according to the UNFCCC, but it is the most vulnerable region in the world to climate change. With COP27 now behind us, alongside the broad agreement on the climate and loss fund, another key takeaway from the talks is potential changes coming to the mandates of multilateral lenders so that financing flows more easily to energy-transition and climate adaptation projects. But for now, and for the foreseeable future, east Africa’s innovators will continue to play a crucial role in helping the region to withstand some of the worst impacts of climate change.


For international communications support in East Africa and beyond, please do get in touch with our sustainability team at: From its Nairobi base, Gong Kenya has delivered communications assignments for clients in 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and is part of a network of agencies operating globally.

Gong wins Sabre awards Africa for second year

We are thrilled to announce that we have won the Central Africa geographic category of the SABRE Awards Africa 2022, our second SABRE trophy in two years recognising ‘Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation, and Engagement’ for our client  Birimian Ventures‘ Launch & Accelerator Programme.

Last year, Gong won the Superior Achievement in Research and Planning category and received a certificate of excellence in the Financial and Professional Services category for our work in delivering the Dive In Festival in Nigeria, the international festival for diversity and inclusion, which we have delivered for three years in a row, working alongside Aon and Lloyd’s and our Nigerian partners Phyllion & Partners Limited.

We are grateful to our clients for trusting us to tell their stories and connect with their audiences, and we look forward to delivering more award-winning comms work for our clients in the future.

Gong appointed as media relations partner to support Grundfos SafeWater

Gong has been chosen to support Grundfos SafeWater with a media relations brief aimed at increasing visibility of its water projects in sub Saharan Africa, including an innovative smart tech clean water pilot project in rural Ghana, an ambitious solar-powered handpump initiative in Zambia, and new irrigation projects in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania working with local partners to improve climate adaptation for smallholder farmers.

SafeWater is a strategic business unit in Grundfos, a leading global pump and water solutions company, creating a lasting impact by transforming underserved communities through commercially viable and sustainable smart water solutions. Collaborating with some of the world’s leading humanitarian and development aid organisations, SafeWater is working towards Grundfos’ ambition of reaching 300 million people by 2030 with access to drinking water.

To learn more, visit

Innovate UK KTN appoints Gong to support flagship innovation projects in Kenya

Gong has been appointed to provide local PR and communications support for the KTN Global Alliance Africa project from Innovate UK KTN, designed to support small business and local and regional innovation across a range of sectors and to promote long-lasting strategic partnerships between Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and the UK.

The KTN Global Alliance Africa project partners with local groups, including innovation hubs and local governments, to develop wider networks, connecting ideas, people and communities and nurturing local innovation ecosystems through a series of targeted programmes. By helping to scale homegrown solutions to meet local problems, the KTN Global Alliance Africa project aims to accelerate local, homegrown innovation for inclusive economic growth, to create jobs and to reduce poverty. Gong’s role will be to amplify Innovate UK KTN’s work in Kenya, now partnering with the Kenya National Innovation Agency, to increase awareness amongst its key stakeholders including the private sector, government, investors, the innovation community and civil society.

KTN Global Alliance Africa project is a six-year project funded by UK Aid through Innovate UK (GCRF) and FCDO. To learn more, please visit:

Renewable Energy in Africa: A Post-COP26 Outlook

By Ryan Witton


By the close of the COP26 climate conference late last year, 77 countries and organisations had signed the ‘Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement’. In it, signatories pledged to phase out coal power and move away from the carbon-intensive fuel while scaling up investments in renewables. 28 new members signed up to the Powering Past Coal Alliance, joining more than 150 countries, sub-nationals and businesses, accounting for over US$17 trillion in assets. With nearly three quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions stemming from energy production, the transition towards clean energy sources is a necessity for tackling climate change and keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Africa is a continent which still relies heavily on fossil fuels and biomass for its energy needs, yet has terrific potential for renewable power. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) perhaps puts it best:

“Endowed with substantial renewable energy resources, Africa can adopt innovative, sustainable technologies and play a leading role in global action to shape a sustainable energy future,” – IRENA,  Scaling up Renewable Energy Deployment in Africa.


Africa’s Clean Energy Transition


Global economic and technological shifts are lending themselves towards cheaper and more accessible renewable power in Africa. The cost of solar PV energy decreased by 77 per cent between 2010 and 2018, and the price tags of other innovative technologies, like green hydrogen and lithium-ion energy storage, are also expected to continue falling. Independent power producers like AMEA Power are supporting this transition, with one example being the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed solar PV power plant in Togo, which will provide 50 megawatts (MW) of clean energy to 600,000 households and 700 small to medium-sized enterprises in the region. Another example is the Kipeto Wind Power Project in southwest Kenya, which is the second largest wind power project in the country with a generation capacity of 100MW of clean electrical energy.

Financing remains the most significant challenge to large-scale renewable energy in Africa, according to the International Monetary Fund, so investment managers with knowledge and expertise to mobilise funds for large-scale projects on the continent are sorely needed. African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) develops and manages private equity funds which invest in long-term African infrastructure projects. Through its IDEAS Managed Fund, AIIM made a significant investment into Witkop Solar Park, a 30MW solar PV facility supplying electricity to over 6,000 households in the Limpopo region of South Africa. Witkop is connected to the national grid under the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme, an initiative designed to facilitate private sector investment into grid-connected renewable energy.

Olusola Lawson, co-managing director at AIIM, highlighted the importance of developing strategies that are “cognisant of certain constraints, like financing, to maximise the near-1.5TW renewable energy generation potential across the continent.” He described return on investment in African renewable energy as being potentially very high as upfront costs fall and regulatory and financing barriers lift. Bboxx is another excellent example of an AIIM investment with a scalable model, which in just over a decade has grown from inception to now operating in 10 countries to provide over two million people with clean electricity and utilities.


Green Hydrogen’s potential


Hydrogen produced through electrolysis and powered by renewable energy is labelled as ‘green’. This potentially zero-emission energy source could supply up to 25 per cent of the world’s energy needs and become a US$10 trillion addressable market by 2050, predicts Goldman Sachs. Despite its credentials, green hydrogen currently accounts for less than five per cent of hydrogen produced globally, the rest is primarily ‘grey hydrogen’, which is produced through carbon and methane-intensive methods. The African Hydrogen Partnership (AHP) is a continent-wide association dedicated to the development of green hydrogen, hydrogen-based chemicals, and hydrogen-related business opportunities across Africa. In an interview with Gong for its Africa Net Zero series, AHP co-founder and secretary general Siggi Huegemann describes green hydrogen as a key factor for decarbonising nations worldwide as they become green energy importing nations. He sees African countries as having enormous potential for producing huge amounts of low-cost green hydrogen to meet this demand. “One cannot decarbonise Europe without African hydrogen,” Siggi says, expanding on the need for large-scale hydrogen projects spanning several countries to diversify energy sources for importing nations.

The ‘Net Zero by 2050’ scenario proposed in the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2021 predicted a strong emergence of inter-regional hydrogen trade. COP26 saw the inception of the Africa (and Latin America) Green Hydrogen Alliance to kickstart the development of the low-carbon fuel for use in both domestic and international industries. In a space where cross-sector dialogue, engagement and participation are pivotal for global scalability and the adoption of this relatively nascent technology, collaborations like the African Green Hydrogen Alliance and AHP will be critical.

Africa Net Zero Series: conversations with champions and challengers


African countries generate just two per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Despite this, they find themselves on the frontlines of climate change, dealing with the effects of a rapidly warming world thanks to the other 98 per cent of global emissions. In our Africa Net Zero Series, we look at the champions and challengers helping to cut the continent’s emissions.

Our first guest, Elizabeth Wangeci Chege, CEO and co-founder of WEB Limited, told us she wanted to be part of the solution as an engineer in the construction industry, not part of the problem. She outlined the opportunities in Africa to build green cities in the future and the positive shift in attitudes among the private and public sector towards net zero targets.

Our second guest, Dr Wolfram Schmidt, Researcher at the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, discussed the ins and outs of cement production. Responsible for 2.8 billion tonnes of CO2, the cement industry is ripe for an overhaul. Dr Schmidt talked us through the idea of using waste from the widely grown crop cassava as an alternative material for “green” cement and the opportunity for producing African-made green cement to meet Africa’s housing and infrastructure demands.

And for the latest episode of our Africa Net Zero series, we were delighted to sit down with two guests: Siggi Huegemann and Dr Innocent Uwuijaren from the African Hydrogen Partnership (AHP). We learned more about the African hydrogen journey so far and discussed what the future might hold as the continent becomes one of the world’s major producers.

We hope you enjoy our carbon conversations so far, and if you would like to suggest another topic for our mini-series, please do get in touch with us.

Wilful Press Release


Communications taskforce to support low carbon, regenerative economy

19 October 2021, London

Wilful is a new agency that works at the intersection of tech innovation and sustainability to help clients amplify and scale solutions to the climate emergency.

The agency is built on the merger of its founding taskforce members, Cherish and Gong Communications. The agency works internationally from its London HQ with established partner networks in Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. Digital agency Loud and start-up specialist Little Bear join brand design agency Made With and Gong Creative in the launch taskforce line-up with the additional sustainability expertise of author and brand strategist, John Grant. Wilful’s Chair is Mike Rowe, founder of digital agency group 1000Heads.

The agency launch co-incides with an unprecedented global push to find solutions to the climate emergency and more sustainable ways of living. Investment capital is being funneled to fund climate innovation across all sectors with sustainable food and mobility overtaking renewable energy.
In the first half of 2021:

  • Private equity firms have raised more than $180 billion of climate finance
  • VC funding for climate tech topped $16bn
  • COP26 host Boris Johnson is redoubling efforts to secure £100bn a year in climate funding for developing countries.


And in October, the EU launched its first green bond, the world’s largest to date, raising €12bn to finance member nations’ environmental initiatives.

Wilful co-founders Rebecca Oatley and Narda Shirley navigated the last period of rapid innovation and disruption together in the early 2000s at PR agency Gnash, when the internet inspired a generation of entrepreneurs to challenge the status quo. Wilful is their new joint venture, drawing on their extensive combined experience working principally in digital disruption, finance, development and sustainability.

Commenting on the market, Rebecca noted, “We are in another phase of rapid technology innovation with capital chasing game changing ideas and visionary entrepreneurs. This time, the stakes are much higher, we need to help the most promising innovations to find their audiences to successfully make the leap to a sustainable low carbon future.”

Wilful Co-Founder, Narda Shirley added, “Organisations that are gearing up for the transition to a low carbon future need a communications partner that can keep pace with the speed of change and the ability to react quickly to opportunities without compromising on the quality of the advice. Reassuringly, we are seeing plenty of brilliant innovations out there already, from big corporates as well as from start-ups. The challenge now is to help the best ones get to scale, which is where we believe communications has a key role to play.”

Some of Wilful’s recent work includes support for carbon removal marketplace,, seaweed bio-refinery and industry catalyser Oceanium, and Unreasonable Group, building community between entrepreneurs, investors and institutions to solve pressing global problems.

Wilful is a new kind of communications agency that works at the intersection of innovation and sustainability to amplify the ideas solving the world’s biggest problems. The Wilful team is on a mission to help clients in the transition to a low carbon, regenerative economy.

Wilful’s task force approach blends disciplines to deliver an agile and adaptable client service drawing on the expertise of two well established agencies with a complementary focus: Cherish with its track record of working with mass market digital disruptors and Gong with its focus on corporate and B2B, often in sustainable development.

Headquartered in London, Wilful has a global network of partners: in Africa it is anchored by Gong’s business in Kenya and in Europe and the US it is represented by Over There, the group of independent agencies that Cherish co-founded.

Jo Hooke:
Richa Kundnani: