Q & A with Litefoot Trust
1. What’s the purpose of Litefoot Trust?
Established in 2008, Litefoot is a charitable trust that seeks to inspire New Zealanders to become environmental champions. Fronted by seven of New Zealand’s top sportspeople, Litefoot seeks to inspire Kiwis by example, to make simple lifestyle changes to reduce their environmental impact, ensuring that future generations are able to enjoy the beauty of clean, green New Zealand.
Their mission? To activate the sports and business communities of New Zealand so that they collectively reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by 1 million tonnes. Their approach? A positive, inspiring message that simplifies and reframes environmental action as a fun way to free up resources for sport, communities and future generations.
2. What’s Litefoot Trust‘s background, what inspired its beginning and how has it grown over time?
Intrigued by the pulling-power that high-profile sportspeople carry, sports marketer Hamish Reid and pro-golfer Michael Campbell began conceptualising Litefoot back in 2005. “Sports heroes cut a direct track to the hearts of billions of people across all cultures. We admire attributes like dedication, loyalty, perseverance, teamwork and winning in the face of seemingly impossible odds,” says Hamish. The question was, could sports heroes, by taking action in their own lives, engage a broad spectrum of people in addressing their own environmental impact? Could tangible action be infused with the spirit of sport – teamwork and competitiveness – to boost uptake?
Fastforward six years, and seven Litefoot Ambassadors – Michael Campbell, Barbara Kendall, Brendon McCullum, Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell, Daniel Kereopa and Conrad Smith – are each undertaking a personal ‘Rapid Revolution’ in order to reduce their personal impact upon the environment. Their emissions-generating activities are recorded and each month, and the results are reported in a league table through which the Ambassadors compete for podium position. Litefoot seeks to make the efforts of the Ambassadors highly visible through the use of web, social and traditional media so that many New Zealanders are inspired to follow their lead. But it doesn’t stop there. Litefoot’s awareness-building programme is complemented by three action-oriented business and community engagement programmes: Liteclub help sports clubs measure and reduce their environmental impact. Team Challenge is all about teams in workplaces competing to reduce their impact at home, and Bluprint is the consulting arm of Litefoot, coaching top organisations to thrive in the context of a rapidly changing world and to achieve great environmental and social goals that boost economic performance.
3. Can you describe some exciting change Litefoot Trust has helped facilitate, or is currently working on?
Transformation toward a more sustainable future requires not only Governments and businesses, but citizens to understand, embrace the issues and take action in a personal way. The environmental sustainability challenge is therefore a great challenge of communications to the masses. It is Litefoot’s ongoing ambition to affect measurable, reportable change across business and community scales.
The vision is being realised – Liteclub will have 330 clubs participating in the programme by 2014, Team Challenge will have more than 50,000 employees competing in teams at launch mid-year, and Bluprint is consulting to top organisations such as NZ Rugby Union, Les Mills and the International Olympic Committee.
4. What are the future aspirations of Litefoot Trust?
We imagine moving people to change our world by inspiring sport-loving Kiwis to be lite-footed. This means being quick and nimble on our feet so we’re able to respond to inevitable change. It means being lite on the land and feeling uplifted and positive whilst doing so. It means doing more good than harm. If enough of us take action we’ll quickly move toward solutions that allow life to thrive – zero waste, 100% clean energy, faster adoption of clean tech, regeneration of depleted land, restoration of lost waterways. Litefoot’s key message is that if we all take small steps, we’ll make big leaps together.
5. Would you like to share anything else about Litefoot Trust?
We seek proactive, engaged sports clubs to join our Ministry for the Environment and ASB Community Trust funded LiteClub programme. Are you (or a family member or friend) a member of a sports club?
If their sports club interested in saving money by signing up to LiteClub, please ask them to get in touch with us (email firstname.lastname@example.org). LiteClub is an entirely free service for sports clubs.