Havas North America’s Bria Bryant tells Dare! about Power Down, an initiative that encourages Havas employees across the globe to step away from technology in celebration of Earth Day (April 22).
The initiative marries two pillars of Havas Impact+, urging our global talent to turn off their technology between 1pm and 2pm to reduce our environmental impact and promote personal wellness.
Here, Bria, Head of Communications, explains the concept of Power Down, and what she hopes it will achieve.
Where did the idea for this initiative stem from?
Power Down was born out of our desire to do something impactful to make a difference on Earth Day – and it had to be something easy for people across the globe to do. The communications leads across North America Creative came together and brainstormed several ideas for Earth Day. The one that stuck was this idea to give our people an hour back during the day to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature – all in the spirit of self-care.
The hope is that people will feel more fulfilled knowing that they are doing something good for themselves while also doing something good for the planet. The brilliance is in the simplicity of the idea. The concept really connected with us, and when Havas Group’s Chief Communications Officer Lorella Gessa approached Yannick Bolloré about extending it beyond creative to make this a global group initiative, he was on board.
How difficult is it to organise a global initiative like this?
The hardest part is measuring the impact of the initiative and ensuring the Villages across the globe have the information they need to enable our employees to Power Down on Earth Day. For this to work, people truly have to disconnect – meaning unplug all of your electronics, turn off your lights, your computer, and your phone, and get outside. We want to encourage people to do something good for the environment, or themselves, if they can. Meditate or do yoga, get a smoothie, reconnect with friends, or read a book in the sunshine! Do whatever you need to do to use this hour to maintain your wellness. At the same time, it allows us to lower our personal environmental footprint by reducing our energy consumption.
What has been the reaction to the idea?
There is a lot of excitement and energy around the idea. We chose to schedule Power Down for 1pm to 2pm in each market because we know it’s a time when people should be stepping away and having lunch, but so many of us aren’t doing that right now.
We are often still in meetings, pounding away at our keyboards, and our phones are attached to our hips. The last year has been taxing on all of us, so I think some of the positivity stems from this longing or human need to give people a break. There is no separation between work and home, and we need to make a greater effort to find and support employees’ work-life balance and allow them to disconnect. Power Down is a nice start. Everyone has different ideas of how to spend their hour, and I’m excited to hear about how they manage it.