Green Action Week 2022
58 organisations in
33 countries participated
Green Action Week 2021
50 organisations in
31 countries participated
Guide to Green Action Week

Welcome to the Green Action Week 2023 Guide. The steps below will take you on a journey as you plan your Green Action Week campaign. You activity should speak to your organisation’s vision as well as the Sharing Community theme, while expanding your systemic approach to sustainable consumption.

How to Use This Guide

This guide is a support tool to help your organisation design a creative and impactful Green Action Week campaign. You might decide on one activity or a series of activities. We encourage you to use this guide to make sure that:

  • Your Green Action Week plan meets the criteria for the campaign.
  • Your activity/activities connect with the change that you want to see in the world.
  • You reach the people that you want to influence to bring about change.

This guide is designed to be used by a team to think through and brainstorm activities for Green Action Week. It takes your team through a step-by-step process of imagining activities that will further your existing work, elevate your call to action and broaden your reach and influence.

We suggest that you set aside dedicated time to use this planning tool in a comfortable space. You will need some drawing materials and paper, as well as sticky notes if you have them. You could start off the session by explaining to your team:

  • What Green Action Week is all about (click here for more information).
  • The purpose of the session, which is to come up with an exciting and impactful campaign.
  • That all ideas are welcome – be creative first and practical later!

Key Elements of a Green Action Week Campaign

The aim of the global Green Action Week campaign is to boost calls for sustainable consumption and to generate greater access to sustainable goods and services. Campaign activities should try to:

  • Encourage consumer action on a particular issue.
  • Help build new or existing networks and partnerships.
  • Showcase a solution to a pressing problem (hunger, exclusion and marginalisation, waste, etc.)
  • Have a clear call to action.
  • Be measurable to enable results monitoring.
  • Contribute to building a sharing community.
  • Incorporate ways to include vulnerable and marginalised voices, particularly of women.

The goal is to bring about larger cultural or systemic change by sharing the stories of participants around the world in Green Action Week to raise awareness of what is possible.

Planning Your Campaign

We have designed some tools to help you think through campaign activities that could strengthen your organisation’s existing work related to sustainable consumption and make sure that your campaign activity reaches the stakeholders you need to influence. A campaign activity is a great way to do something practical that can help your organisation extend its influence or showcase its solutions to current challenges to a wider network. Download the planning pack here.

The more we share, the more we have.   

Leonard Nimoy

1) Map Your ‘Why’

Often we can get stuck in the doing and can forget why we are doing it. Ask your team to think about a future sustainable world in which consumption and production benefit both people and the planet. What would the key elements of such a world be? See some examples below and add the ones that you are think are the most important on the next map – this will form the focus area of your campaign.

2) Map Your Challenges

There are often big and sometimes hidden challenges we need to overcome to bring our vision into reality. These are called systemic challenges because they are problems in the system rather than specific, individual issues. Also, sometimes we can confuse symptoms of problems and the cause of the challenge. For example, malnutrition is a symptom of a broken food system, which is the real challenge. The broken food system (corporatised, consolidated and industrialised) is the cause of the symptom of malnutrition.

Think of a tree – it is the roots of the tree that cause it to keep growing and the leaves of the tree are the visible elements that show if the tree is healthy or not. Think of the roots as the causes/systemic challenges and the leaves as the symptoms.

Your Green Action Week campaign should focus on addressing the root causes of the challenge. See examples on the following tree map of causes and symptoms. Fill in the root causes and symptoms (leaves) on the blank map after that. This will help you to identify where you need to focus your campaign.

What Is in the Soil That Nurtures the Challenge Tree?

Think of the soil as the conditions that allow these systemic root challenges to grow strong – the societal and cultural patterns that enable or allow these challenges to persist. Note that your conditions will relate to the roots and symptoms of the problem you are tackling and so can differ from the ones given as examples below.

3) Set Your Campaign Goal

You now know the key elements on which you want to focus from your vision map and you know the challenges that lie in the way of your realising your vision. Ask your team to brainstorm Green Action Week campaign goals.


Prompts to help your team to think about campaign goals could be:

  • Think about what challenges we have to overcome to realise our vision.
  • What can we do to overcome them? For example:
    • Is it raising awareness?
    • Is it mobilising action?
    • Is it demonstrating alternatives? 


There are many ways to brainstorm ideas:

One way is to ask everyone to write down three ideas for a campaign goal (this can take about 5 minutes), then ask them to pass their ideas to the person on their right, who will add to the idea (this can take about 5 minutes). Do this until the idea has passed through everyone in the room. If you have a big team, then set a time limit like 30 minutes and then stop. Once each idea has at least three or four people’s input, ask your team to present the ideas, discuss them and decide which goal you will adopt for the campaign.

Make It a S.M.A.R.T Goal

Write out your final campaign goal on the next page. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). See some examples below with the related problem statement.

  • Goal: Mobilise consumers to demand that policymakers ban single-use plastics.
    Problem statement: Single-use plastics pollute land and waterways and pose a risk to ocean health. 
  • Goal: Raise consumer awareness of the need to value and consume organically produced food.
    Problem statement:Industrial-style food production is harmful to both human and planetary health through its extractive processes and use of synthetic agrichemicals. 
  • Goal: Put pressure on government to transition to renewable energy sources.
    Problem statement: Fossil-fuel energy sources are non-renewable and their extraction, production and consumption are driving climate change.

Write Down Your Campaign Goal

4) Map Who to Work with and Influence

To achieve your goal, who do you need to work with and who do you need to influence? See examples below and fill in the stakeholders that you need to work with and influence on the following map. These can be beneficiaries of your work or stakeholders that you engage with to bring about your vision (like government) or allies like other civil society organisations.

5) Generate Ideas for Your Campaign

Put the maps that you have completed together. You now know what your campaign will focus on (the elements of the vision), what problem you need to tackle and who you need to work with and influence. Now it is time to brainstorm how you will reach them. See an example below.

Get creative first and practical later!

Now you have a goal for your campaign, brainstorm about what activity/activities your organisation can undertake that will help you reach that goal.


Prompts to help your team to think about campaign activities could be:

  • What activity/activities will bring about the desired change (your goal)?
  • What activity/activities will reach the people we need to influence?
  • What activities will have the most impact?


There are many ways to brainstorm ideas:

One way is to ask your team to write their ideas down on sticky notes and put them up on a wall or board (about 5-7 minutes), then give everyone about 10 minutes to add to the existing ideas or add new ones. Reject no ideas at this stage. You can then group ideas that are similar and discuss each idea with the team, selecting the ones that seem the most impactful.

The next stage is checking if they meet the criteria for the campaign.

Check against the criteria and shortlist ideas

Check the activities against the criteria for a Green Action Week campaign. Do they?
  • Encourage consumer action on a particular issue?
  • Help build new or existing networks and partnerships?
  • Showcase a solution to a pressing problem (hunger, biodiversity loss, economic/political exclusion, pollution, extractive industries, unequal access to resources and marginalisation, waste, etc.).
  • Have a clear call to action?
  • Enable results monitoring by being measurable?
  • Incorporate ways to include vulnerable and marginalised voices, particularly of women?
  • Contribute to building a Sharing Community?
See the map on the next page for examples of Sharing Community.

6) Map Your Contributions

Green Action Week focuses on showcasing different elements of Sharing Community – the many different ways that we can consume more sustainably while building community collaboration to overcome some of the challenges that we face. Below are some examples. Ask your team to discuss where the brainstormed activities can contribute to building Sharing Community and circle them or add more on the map on the following page.

Choose your campaign activity/activities

Choose your activities, by answering the questions below for each option:

  • What is the sharing community theme associated with your campaign?
  • Are you expanding your influence?
  • How will this activity/activities support your vision of a more sustainable world?
  • Who and what do we need to carry this out?
  • Which challenge/s is the campaign helping to overcome?
  • What impact will this campaign make?

Is there a way to grow the impact of your campaign? Perhaps bring in partners, invite influential people to participate, document and share campaign results or invite the media to attend your activities?

Write up a summary of your campaign, followed by a description of the problem you are tackling; the campaign goal and expected impact; the activities, outputs and workplan; your target groups; and your budget.

Join Green Action Week 2023

Finalise your campaign idea and register your campaign idea here so that we can join your voice to the global Green Action Week campaign.