City of Surrey, Sustainability


The City of Surrey is a leader among municipalities. Driven by its Sustainability Charter, it extends sustainability into every decision and operation. It’s leadership in this field is recognized across North America, yet much of its achievements weren’t well known or integrated into the culture of the city. The sustainability values that guide it needed to be more widely recognized.


Beginning with a session with stakeholders to define priorities, key strengths and resources available, we audited the City’s brand of sustainability. We evaluated how they communicate and the resources at their disposal to best reflect their initiatives. This began with the internal stakeholders who engage most with the brand and then extended to the departments to identify ways sustainability enhances their value.


We created a Communications Strategy outlining a strategic vision and key messages to build on. We identified ways to maximize their efficiencies and increase awareness about leadership.

This was followed with a Sustainability Communications Plan that outlines the tactics to make the strategy a reality. The tactics strengthen all communications to keep the brand strong and the voice consistent. We identified the social media opportunities and created a strategy that is manageable within their capacity.

We also did an analysis of their digital tool, the Sustainability Dashboard. This tool now offers a direct link to citizens to see overall efforts and identify the aspects that relate to them individually.


Significantly, we discovered that integrating sustainability into all aspects of the City’s communications, rather than separating it into a silo was vital for messages to resonate and engage citizens and stakeholders. This changed the way Surrey communicates its sustainability messages is key to establishing awareness and leadership. Our plan is helping Surrey to roll out initiatives that represent huge shifts and positively frame messages that are sometimes controversial. The results of the digital analysis led to a more engaging tool that reflects the concerns and priorities of residents and local businesses.

We are presently working with Surrey Sustainability to frame messages about the New City Hall and the societal impacts it can have.