During a walk through Zurich I could not believe my eyes. Everywhere I felt like I was being watched by polar bears and penguins. Have I walked this far and am I already in the Arctic or Antarctic? Taking a closer look, I discovered a campaign by the electricity company of the city of Zurich (ewz).
Penguins and polar bears everywhere, occasionally a seal, almost at every stop of the city buses and the tram. My walk has long since become an expedition through Zurich. Tired, I came home and of course, I wanted to know more about this campaign and inquired at the Zurich electricity distributor. Harry Graf, Head of Media & Public Affairs, at ewz, quickly got in touch and kindly answered my open questions.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal: How did you get the idea to use penguins and polar bears for a climate campaign of an electricity producer?
Harry Graf, ewz: Resource consumption, CO2 emissions and air pollutants must be reduced significantly. If global warming continues to increase, it will have devastating effects on the environment. Wildlife in the polar regions are the first to feel the effects of climate change. That’s why we have taken penguin, polar bear and seal as affected animals for our campaign. Traditionally, ewz has always been committed to renewable energies. However, we are not only an electricity producer, but also implement ecologically and economically sensible heating and cooling solutions for complex site and large-scale projects as well as energy networks for neighbourhoods and communities throughout Switzerland. As an energy source, we use locally available resources such as waste heat from the municipal sewage treatment plant, wood chips from the nearby forest, heat from Lake Zurich and also harness the power of the sun. Together with our customers, we are actively making a significant contribution to environmental protection, climate protection and the energy transition.
Heiner Kubny: What do you want to tell people with that?
Harry Graf: Actions not words. With this campaign, we want to show that there are already ways to significantly reduce CO2 emissions today. We decided on three subjects (penguin, polar bear and seal) and assigned a theme to each animal: Heating/Cooling, Electromobility and Photovoltaics. In the case of heating/cooling, we point to our climate-friendly energy solutions, in the case of electromobility to our intelligent charging infrastructures and in the case of photovoltaics to our innovative solutions, such as the first high-alpine photovoltaic system on our Albigna dam in Bergell. In addition, we help our customers to identify energy leaks and provide subsidies for efficient energy use and for systems that generate electricity from renewable energy sources. Of course, we also want the campaign to show that we are the right partner for innovative energy and communication solutions. The benchmarking study by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) also shows that we are on a sustainable path. ewz was named Switzerland’s most sustainable energy supplier in terms of renewable energies and energy efficiency in the electricity and heating sectors, and best meets the objectives of the Energy Strategy 2050 and EnergieSchweiz.
Heiner Kubny: What is the response to this campaign?
Harry Graf: We started the campaign shortly before Christmas 2020. The subjects are eye-catching and the messages are brief. We receive positive feedback and are encouraged that we must move forward with climate protection.
Heiner Kubny: How many posters adorn Zurich
Harry Graf: We are running the campaign in the city of Zurich. Spread over four weeks, there are 1,500 posters, 80 of which are digital. After the festive season, we have also posted the subjects on our social media channels and look forward to a lively exchange with our followers and readers.
The editorial staff of PolarJournal would like to thank Mr. Harry Graf for kindly answering the questions and congratulate him on the successful campaign.
With penguin and polar bear, winter came
No sooner had all the penguins, polar bears and seals found their place than winter set in. On January 14 at 10:00 it started snowing and within 24 hours, around 50-60 cm of snow had been dumped onto the streets and places of Zurich. Nothing worked anymore – public transport had to give in against these masses of snow. For 24 hours buses and trams stayed on the tracks incapacitated or remained in the depots. Non-official rumours say that this is another campaign by ewz to bring real winter joy to young and old alike. During this time, Zurich could only be reached on foot, on skis or, to the delight of the children, on sledges. This was the first time in 16 years that there has been seen such a mass of snow in the city of Zurich. It should remain like this over the next few days, much to the joy of our friends from the polar regions.
Too bad that in a few weeks the penguins, polar bears and seals will leave us again. For their way home, I would like to say how much joy and and attention they have brought us. Get home well and maybe we’ll see you again in Zurich soon. Thanks also go, of course, to ewz for this sympathetic campaign.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal