Turning a misstep into a step forward through media relations
Client Saint-Gobain recently announced the opening of a new pavilion equipped with solar panels at the Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center in Worcester, Mass. Unlike most standard charitable initiatives, this one required strategic messaging that sensitively positioned the company’s past oversight as the launching pad for today’s community donation.
In 2010, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection penalized Worcester-based Saint-Gobain for allegedly failing to comply with air pollution control regulations. In addressing the violation, Saint-Gobain saw an opportunity to assist the Worcester community in reducing its environmental impact in a more meaningful way than simply paying the $28,000 fine. The company proposed a settlement that would entail the purchase and installation of a $21,000 three kilowatt solar panel roofing system at the Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, with the remaining $7,000 of the penalty paid to the Commonwealth.
In honoring its responsibility to not only make right, but also to enhance the Worcester community where Saint-Gobain employs 1,400 and has a 125-year history, Saint-Gobain also financed the $52,000 construction of a pavilion to hold the solar panels and be used as classroom space to teach Worcester-area youth about connecting with nature and the importance of conservation.
Three major outlets in Worcester ran stories – check out the coverage secured by BG PR!
Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Saint-Gobain makes most of bad situation
Worcester Business Journal: Saint-Gobain Gets Creative With Environmental Fine
Worcester Mag: New Pavilion offers education for Worcester’s youth