Stuff’s Now or Never initiative offers practical tips for cutting a reader’s carbon footprint
Ideas Blog | 20 November 2022
Stuff has been a leader in climate change coverage for several years. In 2020 it created a dedicated climate desk. Eloise Gibson became New Zealand’s first climate editor, and I joined her team. The company enshrined a commitment to combatting climate change in its charter.
The same year, Stuff rebranded its climate coverage to The Forever Project. It’s the home of New Zealand’s most ambitious environmental reporting and represents our commitment to clear-eyed, insistent coverage of the epoch-defining challenges of climate change and sustainability.
The Forever Project includes ongoing digital content, a weekly e-newsletter, and a carbon-neutral quarterly magazine dedicated to environmental sustainability and climate change.
Our readers have been very clear on what they expect from our coverage of the climate crisis: They want solutions, and they want hope. We won’t shy away from telling the truth, but we will balance that with actionable suggestions, a way forward.
Now or Never was designed to meet this need — giving Stuff’s existing climate news audience tangible, practical advice on how to reduce their carbon footprint. It is a free six-week e-mail course for Stuff subscribers, offering tips to help our readers change their habits and reduce their impact on the environment.
Offering easy options
As a subscription offering, the e-mail newsletters encourage loyal climate readers to sign up and become Stuff members.
The course outlines greenhouse gas-cutting tips in weekly newsletters written by a specialist climate change reporter. Editions are divided into topics focusing on the home, the supermarket, work, going out, holidays, and school. Many of the tips are simple and cheap or will even help save cash.
Each edition includes three small changes to make (such as buying second-hand school uniforms), one big thing to try (like replacing natural gas), and a relieving reminder to stop stressing about a particular issue (such as Tetra Paks). In exchange, participants can focus their efforts on something else that will have a much larger impact on the greenhouse gases that enter the atmosphere.
Participants can sign up at any time and receive the first e-mail within an hour. Each week a fresh e-mail arrives, and there’s no ongoing commitment beyond the six, although subscribers remain Stuff members.
Engagement in the course has been phenomenal. The average open rate across the six newsletters is 62%. More than 50% of subscribers are new members to Stuff.
One subscriber shared the following feedback: “Just wanted to say, these newsletters are amazing! Really love the focus that Stuff is putting on climate news and action, tautoko (support)!
“I especially love the ‘Stop stressing about’ section — climate change is stressful, and having these practical and well-researched tips does that little bit to take the load off people who are trying!”
Our editorial commitments to The Forever Project go hand-in-hand with Stuff’s corporate commitment to sustainability. As a member of the Climate Leaders Coalition, the business has made a commitment to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 25% by 2025 — and is well on the way to doing so.
We’ve also established Stuff’s Forever Fund and committed NZD$1 million to Kiwi start-ups that have a positive impact on the environment, like Wild Clean. Most recently, Stuff has achieved B Corp certification, cementing our commitment to balancing purpose and profit to benefit people, communities, and the planet.
Stuff's mission is to use our reach and scale to help make Aotearoa New Zealand a better place, and Now or Never is a great example of that.