Greenstorm: Green Ads, Digital Campaigns for Mother Earth

Kochi: Dileep Narayanan, Founder, Greenstorm Foundation carried immense love and respect for the environment right from his childhood and deciding to give back something in return, formed the non-profit organisation. He explains: “The idea behind this Foundation is very simple; a mother gives everything for her children without expecting anything in return. This is what Mother Earth does too, she gives us everything, but as children, are we concerned about her? That is the big question. The answer is a big No.”

“We exploit and pollute Mother Nature. This has to end as the picture is very bleak for the next generation. What we enjoyed during our childhood may not be there for our children to cherish,” points out Dileep.

Firm in his resolve to bring about a change, Dileep decided to do something about it. “First, we need to change people’s attitude towards nature. To make people look at nature positively, we felt creative ideas and creative expression were the best methods. This thought led to the setting up of the Foundation,” he says.

Dileep’s idea began to take concrete shape when his brand consulting company – Organic BPS – was planning to do something related to the environment as their CSR initiative in 2009. “As usual, we were thinking of planting some trees or cleaning up nearby areas. During that time, I had a visitor from the US, one McArthur, a prominent communications specialist. She put me through an UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) manager who told me that since I am into the branding and advertising profession, I should be able to do something towards propagation of environmental consciousness. And that is how it all began. The Greenstorm contest started with creative contests as part of World Environment Day.”

What began with poster designing contests and exhibitions, evolved over the years and became very popular. “We also conducted short story or rather 140-character tiny tales contests and now have photography contests.”

These contests started attracting a large number of entries from across the country and at times from abroad as well. “Not only were these events hugely successful, they received awards as well. Also, people started recognising us.” In February 2018, Greenstorm won the highly prestigious ‘Olive Crown’ award, which is India’s first-ever award for creative excellence in communicating sustainability, or ‘green’ advertising.

“Many other awards also came our way. From last year onwards, the company decided to honour people who have used their creative talent to propagate environmental causes. It is called the ‘Ecostar Award’.” Actor Sreenivasan, architect G Shankar of Habitat Technologies and Prof. M K Prasad are among the celebrities who have received the award.

On the formation of the non-profit organisation, Dileep says, “It so happened that we came to a decision that, instead of being engaged in CSR activity for a private company, I should involve more people and widen the reach of the initiative. And that is how I decided to set up a public trust and formed Greenstorm Foundation this year.”

According to Dileep, the Foundation is all about changing human behaviour towards nature. “Bringing about that change is the only solution. Greenstorm Foundation is making this happen with the help of creative events and the digital media,” he elaborates.

Dileep recalls an incident which reaffirmed his belief that he had taken the right step for Mother Nature. “Last year, selected photographs from the photo contest were exhibited online for people to vote and share. I received a call from a corporate executive from Coimbatore whose village is situated near there. It seems he happened to see a photo in our Greenstorm exhibition which reminded him of his native village and a pond he used to play in as a child. The photo prompted him to visit the pond which was dying and he, with the help of friends, revived it. This is the power of one photograph and the positive impact it can create in society.”

Greenstorm Foundation was launched by filmmaker R Balakrishnan (Balki) at Kochi in April 2018.