Mercer Holz; Growing Forests – Growing a Future

Saving our futures, one forest at a time

Mercer International, headquartered in Canada, is one of the world’s largest producers of market pulp and solid wood products space. Its European wood-purchasing organisation, Mercer Holz, is based in Germany.

Forests in Germany, primarily spruce, have weakened over the past decade due to floods, fires and drought within the last decade, causing them to succumb to the spruce bark beetle. Reports in early 2023 have stated that 1 in 4 spruce trees is dead from the bark beetle’s ravage.

Forest owners in Germany are struggling to deal with this mammoth crisis. In response to their suppliers (forest owners), public pressure, climate change and viability of future business, Mercer worked with Bright8 to facilitate bringing their multi-year programme to life.

The Bright8 difference

We’ve created a distinct voice for the initiative—both in messaging as well as visuals, and in alignment with the overall Mercer brand in a comprehensive positioning and brand ID for the programme. We developed the hopeful tone of programme name following extensive research on forests in Germany, the threats they face and the public perception of the industry.

The Growing Forests – Growing a Future (GFGF) [German: Unsere Wälder gestalten, Zukunft schaffen] programme has three main aims: to actively support forest owners in caring for the health and future of the German forests; to mitigate concerns that impede longevity and productivity of forests, including the bark beetle calamity and climate change; and, to educate the wider public about the issues forests and forest owners face today.

We delivered a new logo, website replete with content, blog posts, banners, marketing collateral, audio and video support for interviews and event planning.

Breaking ground in Schierke

In April 2023, we managed the launch event from concept to delivery, also providing the client with on-site facilitation support. The event, in Schierke, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, was attended by Mercer Holz, Mercer Europe, Mercer International (Canada), the Deputy Mayor of Schierke, HOFOS and the forest ranger of the region. Our support included event branding, managing RSVPs, media outreach, development of press releases, blog entries and speeches, campaign imagery and digital collateral.

The tree planting event we facilitated began with three keynote speeches, a lunch and concluded with 2-hour tree planting session at the top of a hill in the Schierke forest, surrounded by clear devastation. The urgency and necessity for programmes like these are undisputed.

The event has been reported in a media such as Volkstimme, Goslarsche Zeitung, Altmark Zeitung and a major trade journal for the wood industry in Germany, Holz Zentralblatt.

Our clients are long term partnerships

We view our clients as long-term partners: this is no different. The GFGF programme is a multi-year one, that will continue to include press releases, website content, event management, media training, media outreach and more. Our ability to strategise, our understanding of the media scapes, our competency in creating effective media relations and our ability to storytell are all well within Bright8’s wheelhouse and are at the disposal of our clients.

Versatility in cross-culture efforts

Our clients have plans to duplicate this programme around the world within its other sites and Bright8 welcomes that. As a PR agency, we are proud to be able to support our international clients. Not only do we produce visuals—banners, carousels and videos—in-house, but we are also able to provide our clients with German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Malay, Italian and French copy! (Klingon not included.)

A light touch when needed

Sometimes, controversy is unavoidable and Bright8 does not shy away from facing the difficult topics straight on. This is where our strengths in research and understanding the media and public opinion come to the fore: we remain true north with our transparency and work with our clients to address the elephant in the room.

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Mercer Holz is the German wood-purchasing arm of Mercer International.