Excutive Summary


Wellington Zoo is the oldest conservation organization in Wellington, New Zealand, and is committed to practicing “me tiaki kia ora,” the concept that if one takes care of the surrounding world, the world will return this support and care. Habitat loss is a danger for threatened and endangered species, with deforestation as the leading contributing factor (World Wildlife Foundation, 2017). Because of this, Wellington Zoo has decided to create a community conservation campaign supporting Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an organization aimed at promoting voluntary sustainable forestry practices. FSC certifies timber products that are harvested in an environmentally-friendly way. This certification can be carried through to wood and paper consumer products like toilet paper or stationary. The logo which signifies that a product is FSC certified is shown below, in Figure 1. Our team partnered with Wellington Zoo to help design this campaign. The aim of this project was to assist Wellington Zoo in creating their FSC community campaign by assessing the awareness of the FSC certification program within the Wellington community and providing a set of innovative components to increase the effectiveness of the campaign at the Zoo.

 Figure 1. Forest Stewardship Council logo found on certified products (FSC International, 2017)


The goal of our project was to develop campaign strategies that reach out into the Wellington community and effectively increase consumer purchases of FSC-certified paper products. To accomplish these goals, we outlined five objectives. The objectives and the resulting methodology was as follows:

1. Assess the current understanding of FSC by Zoo visitors and Wellington community members.

To accomplish this objective, our team conducted a consumer survey, shown in Figure 2. The aim of the survey was to understand the current perceptions of FSC from Zoo visitors and the community, and assess the level of support for FSC or like organizations.

Figure 2. Surveying in Wellington

2. Investigate the motivations and barriers of consumers purchasing FSC products.
The consumer survey, mentioned in Objective 1, also assessed the reasons why consumers either did or did not, purchase FSC-certified products. Our group conducted a market analysis of toilet paper and tissue products available at local retailers. This helped us understand the economics of purchasing FSC-certified products. The focus on toilet paper and tissue products was because they are the most common certifiable items in households. Our team interviewed a retail manager from a popular grocery store in the Wellington area to understand the relationship between consumer purchasing habits and product availability. We also interviewed individuals who deal with FSC in their professional careers to understand the FSC organization and how it operates. These interviewees included a representative from FSC, and the gift store manager at Wellington Zoo.

3. Assess Wellington Zoo’s current efforts in promoting and supporting FSC.

From the consumer survey in Objectives 1 and 2, we assessed the effectiveness of current FSC education programs at Wellington Zoo. Our team interviewed various zookeepers and rangers at Wellington Zoo to understand how the FSC message is conveyed at daily Animal Talks at the Zoo and the personal views held by these staff members about FSC. We conducted an interview with Zoo Educators to understand how the FSC message is incorporated within existing children’s programs at the Zoo.

4. Investigate how to design a campaign that can effectively change the purchasing habits of consumers. 

From the consumer survey, our group investigated what other types of environmental certifications consumers support, and the best methods to teach consumers about conservation messages. From our Zoo staff and FSC professional interviews used in Objectives 3 and 4, we asked the staff how they create conservation messages with FSC. Our team met with members from the marketing department at the Zoo to investigate how graphics and advertisements are made for Zoo campaigns and assess the partnerships that exist between Wellington Zoo and other organizations. We reviewed reports on conservation campaigns that had been held at zoos in Oceania in the past to better understand how to create a conservation campaign.

5. Design various campaign components for the FSC community campaign.
Our team designed various campaign components using an appended 6-3-5 method, gaining front-end feedback from our colleagues at Wellington Zoo, and ranking ideas on impact-effort matrices. These components were our recommendations for Wellington Zoo’s FSC campaign, forming the deliverable of this project.


At the completion of our data collection, our team analyzed the data to gather valuable information to use when designing our FSC campaign components. The following summarizes these findings as they address each project objective.

Objective 1: An assessment of the current understanding of FSC by Zoo visitors and community members.
The majority of the Wellington Community does not understand the significance of FSC and FSC products.
Through our analysis of our consumer survey results and interview data, we found that under half of the Wellington, the community could recognize the FSC logo, and an even smaller portion correctly understood the aims of FSC.

Information about FSC needs to be more accessible to consumers.
From our consumer survey data, we found that there were a large number of consumers that did not know about FSC. However, it was also found that consumers were interested in learning about FSC after it was mentioned in the survey. From our interviews, we learned that many Zoo staff members now support FSC, but had never heard of it before working at Wellington Zoo.

Objective 2: An investigation of the motivations and barriers of consumers purchasing FSC products.
A majority of Wellington consumers support other environmentally friendly certified products.
Our consumer survey and market analysis data paired with our retailer interviews showed that Wellington consumers support other sustainably sourced products through purchases of organic foods, cage-free eggs, free-range meat, energy efficient appliances, fairtrade products, and the use of reusable, recycled, or compostable shopping bag programs in stores.
A common misconception is that FSC products cost more than non-certified products.
Through our consumer survey and retailer interviews, we learned that a common barrier blocking consumer purchases of FSC-certified products was the belief that FSC products are more expensive than other products. Our market analysis data showed that products across the price and quality spectrum were FSC-certified, including many “bargain” or “store” brands.
Increasing the availability of FSC-certified products and in-store FSC advertisement depends on consumer purchases and demand.
From our retailer interviews, we learned that sales numbers have the greatest impact on manufacturer and retailer decisions. Products that are popular with consumers will have increased production. In order to increase the number of FSC-certified items, retailers and manufacturers need to see that consumers are looking to purchase these products.

Objective 3: An investigation of how Wellington Zoo promotes FSC.
Wellington Zoo is already making efforts to spread the FSC message to its visitors.
Through our visits to Animal Talks at Wellington Zoo, and interviews with Zoo staff, we saw that Wellington Zoo is been relaying the FSC message to its visitors during daily Animal Talks, and in school programs for children. In our surveying, we found that the number of consumers that recognized the FSC logo was higher for Wellington Zoo visitors than other community members.

Objective 4: An investigation of how to design a campaign that can change the purchasing habits of consumers.
The ideal FSC conservation campaign must be multi-dimensional.
From all our data, we found that different types of conservation messages will have varying impacts on consumers depending on the demographics of the consumer. As a result, a community conservation campaign must adapt to this. To be successful in reaching different demographics in an audience, a conservation campaign must have multiple components in which the core messages of the campaign are relayed.
Conservation campaigns should encourage rather than “guilt-trip” their audience.
From all our interviews, there was a clear message that this campaign should be kept positive. It is not effective to make people feel accused that their actions are part of a problem that is causing negative impacts. This will usually cause individuals to become disengaged from the issue. Rather, it is more effective to help the audience make an emotional connection to the problem, and then encourage them to make the choice of being part of the solution.
Methods for promoting a behavior change are most effective at the time that the target behavior is occurring.
From our review of social marketing and behavior change texts, it became clear that the best time to intervene and recommend a behavior change is when the behavior is occurring. For this campaign, that would mean finding a way to advertise the benefits of purchasing FSCcertified products in grocery stores while consumers are purchasing paper products.

Objective 5: Designs for Wellington Zoo’s FSC Community Campaign.
There are six component areas that the FSC Community Campaign can address.
We found from our research that there are six distinct areas that the Zoo campaign should address to be most effective, reaching more demographic segments. These areas are exhibits in the Zoo, components for Animal Talks, education in children’s programs, information in the Zoo’s gift store, community outreach, and partnerships with neighboring organizations.



After analyzing our consumer surveys, interviews, past campaign reports, literature reviews, and market research, our team brainstormed and produced the following campaign strategy recommendations for Wellington Zoo to implement in their FSC community campaign:
1. Create an FSC story walk, featuring signage and interactive pieces that inform Zoo visitors about the benefits of supporting FSC, connecting its impacts to species at Wellington Zoo.
2. Add a mock grocery store display in the Zoo, allowing visitors to learn about FSCcertified products that are available, and understand how easy and cost-effective purchasing FSC-certified products can be.
3. Distribute magnetic pledge cards allowing visitors to pledge to support FSC. These pledge cards would then be placed on the “FSC Tree of Life” at the conclusion of the FSC portion of the daily Animal Talks at the Zoo.
4. Start a children’s program called “Timber Titans,” where children are given an FSC superhero eye-mask to take home and are prompted to urge their parents to buy FSCcertified products.
5. Lead FSC related arts and crafts during Wellington Zoo children’s programs, and hold an FSC crafts table every month for Zoo visitors to participate in during their visit.
6. Coordinate scavenger hunts for visitors to find the FSC logo throughout Wellington Zoo, going to habitats of animals that benefit from FSC to learn about the organization.
7. Increase FSC signage and information in Wellington Zoo’s Gift Store, so visitors can make the connection between the FSC messages in the Zoo and the act of purchasing paper and wood products.
8. Adopt “FSC Friday” on the Zoo’s social media accounts, featuring zookeeper testimonials and photos and videos of animals benefited by FSC.
9. Create an FSC themed Snapchat Geotag for the Zoo, to help spread the FSC name and logo into the community.
10. Distribute reusable shopping bags and shopping lists with the FSC logo to help remind consumers about FSC while they are making purchasing decisions.
11. Produce phone accessories with the Wellington Zoo and FSC logos printed on them to help increase the frequency of the FSC logo in the community.
12. Create an FSC consortium with other large organizations in Wellington to help extend the reach and impact of the campaign.
13. Reach out to public transportation hubs to gain advertising and display space for the FSC campaign to increase the campaign’s audience size.