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news / Cannes Lions embeds sustainability across the Lions awards in 2023

Cannes Lions embeds sustainability across the Lions awards in 2023

Sustainable Development Goals Lions 2022 entry fees of 226,860 euros are donated to five Lion-winning charities

Since 2015, Cannes Lions has donated nearly 2 million euros to charities, through the SDG Lions and Glass: The Lion for Change awards to support ongoing creative action for good.

17 January 2023

Cannes Lions has announced the introduction of non-compulsory sustainability reporting to the entry process for all Lions awards in 2023. Using AdNet Zero’s five-point Action Plan as a guide, all entrants will be encouraged to outline their C02 emissions on the piece of work being submitted. The data and information is being collated by the Festival to benchmark best-practice across the production and distribution of creative work globally, and will not inform the judging process.

As part of the Festival’s ongoing commitment to driving action on sustainability, all 2022 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Lions entry fees have been donated to five Lion-winning charities. Each nonprofit, who are actively supporting the ambitions of the United Nations’ Global Goals across the world, has received an equal share of 226,860 euros.  

Since 2015, Cannes Lions has donated nearly 2 million euros through the SDG Lions and Glass: The Lion for Change awards combined, to support vital projects worldwide. 

Simon Cook, CEO of Cannes Lions, said:“We believe it’s our collective responsibility to drive action on sustainability through creativity. That’s why we’re embedding sustainability across all of the Lions awards this year to inform best-practice and support the ambitions of Ad Net Zero. The SDG Lions’ winning charities show how creativity can drive action to meet the ambitions of the Global Goals and we’re delighted to support the ongoing work of these inspirational charities.

The five charities who have each received a 45,372 euro donation from the 2022 SDG Lions entry fees are all fighting for vital causes, from birth control rights, to freedom of speech; food poverty to disability awareness. The charities are: 

Everybody Eats is the New Zealand based charity behind ‘The Goodie Box’, created with DDB New Zealand Auckland, to encourage restaurant diners across the country to ‘pay’ for their leftovers. Helping to tackle food poverty and unnecessary waste, ‘The Goodie Box’ was awarded a Bronze SDG Lion in 2022. 

Nick Loosely, Founder & GM of Everybody Eats, said: “Everybody Eats is hugely excited to be the recipient of much needed funds as part of winning at Cannes Lions. The money will be put towards setting up our third permanent, pay-as-you-feel community restaurant, in Glen Innes, Auckland. The site is on the border of New Zealand’s highest concentration of social housing and aims to provide 750, 3 course meals each week.” 

Reporters Without Borders is the NGO behind ‘The Truth Wins’ developed alongside DDB Germany Berlin. Spotlighting the importance of press freedom, it utilised an innovative method of providing access to censored information by prominent journalists from Russia, Turkey and Brazil through Twitter, using lottery numbers as an access code. It also won a Bronze SDG Lion. 

Reporters without Borders is constantly working towards a world with more press freedom. Campaigns like the “The Truth Wins” help us to raise awareness of our cause, spread our work worldwide and gain supporters - ultimately enabling us to support journalists who are risking their lives every day. For journalists in Ukraine for instance, we could provide protective equipment, psychological assistance or even safety training,”  explained Christian Mihr, Executive Director of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Germany

Change the Ref, Inc. advocates for gun control rights in America and the nonprofit collaborated with Leo Burnett Chicago to create the ‘The Lost Class’. A stunt that tricked gun ownership advocates into speaking at a memorial for gun crime victims, it brought mass attention to the issue of gun violence, and took home a Silver SDG Lion.

Manuel Oliver, Activist/ Co-founder, Change the Ref commented: “The SDG Lions’ donation will positively impact how we drive our actions and campaigns during 2023. Thanks to this kind of support, we will be able to reach more people and generate effective awareness about gun violence in America. In addition, we will travel the country with young activists to support communities impacted by the gun violence epidemic. So, in the name of our son Joaquin Oliver and the more than 45 thousand people that lose their lives yearly to gun violence in our society, thanks, and God bless your kindness.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) worked with adam&eveDDB London who developed the ‘#WETHE15’ campaign film. Promoting the WETHE15 disability inclusivity movement, the film aired during the Tokyo Paralympic Games, and won a Bronze SDG Lion. 

Craig Spence, IPC Chief Brand and Communications Officer, commented: “The donation from Cannes Lions towards our ongoing work is gratefully received and will provide further support to the team as we look to use WeThe15 to advance the lives of the world’s 1.2 billion persons with disabilities. For the WeThe15 campaign to be recognised at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is testament to the hard work that was put into the launch by so many different stakeholders.

Nonprofit GEPAE (Grupo Estratégico para la Pastilla Anticonceptiva de Emergencia) advocates for women’s birth control rights in Honduras, and partnered with Ogilvy Honduras to develop ‘Morning After Island’, winning a Bronze SDG Lion. 

The SDG Lions award, launched in 2018 in partnership with the United Nations, aims to advance awareness of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals: a collective ambition to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. This Lion celebrates creative work that actively supports the advancement of the Goals and utilises the power of the creative communications industry to support the goals’ ambitions. 

Find out more about the Sustainable Development Goals Lions and the Cannes Lions Awards