From small beginnings on the Central Coast of NSW, the CEO Clean-Up is going global. For the first time, the Take 3 CEO Clean-Up is running virtually. It’s happening between now and 15 December with a virtual group clean-up planned for Friday 19 November.
This event is open to business leaders worldwide who want to demonstrate leadership on sustainability. It’s an opportunity to make a real difference by cleaning up their local communities, fundraising to support clean oceans, and raising awareness of the plastic pollution problem.
During this month through to 15 December, participating CEOs will pick up rubbish wherever they go and share their progress by using the #Take3CEOCleanUp hashtag. Clean-ups have already started around the world, with 22 CEOs already registered and nearly $2,000 raised on the CEO leaderboard.
The history of the CEO Clean-Up
As a passionate environmentalist and someone who works, lives and plays in a coastal region, our Director Laura wanted to address the rising plastic pollution problem that we face as a community. With the network, expertise, and tools at her fingertips, Laura felt a responsibility to do something.
That something was to conceive and pioneer an Australian-first fundraising initiative, the ‘CEO Clean-Up,’ for global anti-plastic movement Take 3 for The Sea. Laura brought the idea to the Take 3 team having identified an opportunity for the non-profit to speak directly to polluters in business and industry to make real change. The initiative, which is driven by a pro-bono partnership with Laura’s agency LEP Digital, aims to incite behavioural change in business and drive crucial funding for education and lobbying to protect our oceans and marine life from plastic pollution. For the first time, the initiative brings CEOs face-to-face with pollution in their own backyards and enables them to be part of the solution.
To turn the idea into action, LEP Digital designed the strategy, custom-built the fundraising website including an interactive CEO leaderboard to encourage competitive fundraising, designed the sub-brand and marketing collateral, and conducted business outreach to encourage participation and fundraising.
What we’ve achieved
In its pilot years, delivered over two events on the Central Coast of NSW between November 2019 and November 2020, the campaigns raised around $30,000 and removed more than 800kg of plastic and other waste from waterways. The success of the event attracted national interest, and earlier this year was rolled out in Manly Cove Beach in Sydney — the first of several Australian cities in a lineup of events planned for 2022 and beyond.
In total, the CEO Clean-Up has raised more than $70,300 toward our cause, making it one of the most successful annual fundraising initiatives in the Take 3’s 21 year history.
Funds raised from the CEO Clean-Up help Take 3 to deliver vital education programs in schools, surf clubs and communities around Australia and the globe. It’s all part of a major goal to educate one million school children and remove 10 million pieces of litter by 2025.
The plastic problem and COVID-19
Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to ocean and marine life, as well as the broader environment. More than eight million tonnes of new plastic ends up in our oceans each year and it’s predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
This has further been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which has reversed our efforts to reduce both the production and waste of single-use plastics. Consequently, billions of tonnes of extra plastic products have been produced around the globe for the protection of COVID-19 transmission. It’s reported that, globally, human beings are using and disposing of around 129 billion face masks and 65 billion plastic gloves every month.