In June, Havas New York Chief Creative Officer Harry Bernstein fielded more than 2,000 text messages from potential interns. The hopeful pitches were sent directly to his personal phone as part of the agency's "Text Me Harry Bee" campaign, a ploy to cut down on bureaucratic gatekeepers and cast a wider recruitment net focused on ideas rather than portfolio. He hired 50 as interns in the hopes that they would bring fresh ideas and leave a lasting impact on the agency itself.
They have. Last week, Havas New York took the first step in a lengthy and ambitious greening initiative, led by a group of interns. As part of its "Make Ideas, Not Trash" platform, the office no longer supplies single-use plastic straws to employees. But unlike Starbucks, which began phasing out straws last month, Havas also gave all 1,200+ employees in the building a stainless steel straw to wash and reuse.
If every person in the Havas NY Village uses one plastic straw a day, we are throwing away 400,400 straws every year. 500MM straws are used every day in the US alone - enough to wrap around the earth two and a half times, polluting our oceans and beaches, and threatening wildlife that reside there. Starting now, Havas is leaving plastic straws behind. Shout out to our interns for helping us make a positive and real impact around our office. Metal straws for every employee ✌️ #makeideasnottrash
In the coming weeks, workers will also receive a sustainability starter kit, including a branded tote bag for grocery shopping, stainless steel silverware in a carry pouch, a 16-ounce Mason jar and a bamboo toothbrush.
"If you think about it, every toothbrush you've ever used in your life is still on this planet, and it will probably still be here when you're gone," says Kirsten Bannan, a creative/design intern who worked on the greening campaign. "You start your day off brushing your teeth, so it reminds you to start your sustainability initiative every day."