BBC Future Planet drives Hyundai’s sustainability messaging to global audience


Throughout the month of August, Hyundai Motoring will be the exclusive sponsor of BBC Future Planet, the BBC’s home for in-depth, evidence-based stories on potential solutions addressing the pressing environmental challenges around the world.

BBC Future Planet is the first major online publication with a sole focus on climate change that also aims to be as close to zero carbon as possible. From the site’s launch in February 2020 to June 2021, its total carbon emissions from travel were just 857kg – that’s less than a one-way flight from New York to Berlin.

By sponsoring BBC Future Planet’s solutions-based journalism, Hyundai aims to reach global audiences looking to create a more sustainable world. As part of the sponsorship, BBC StoryWorks – the commercial content studio of BBC Global News – created a documentary-style film highlighting Hyundai’s partnership with the ocean conservation organisation, Healthy Seas, to combat ocean pollution, nurture sustainable marine ecosystems, and support a circular economy.

As cleaning up and preventing marine pollution aligns with Hyundai’s global strategy in developing clean mobility solutions for the future, the branded content was produced sustainably, by driving electrified vehicles from London to Greece instead of flying, choosing to consume vegan meals and using solar power to charge equipment.

Sean O’Hara, EVP of international ad sales at BBC Global News, said, “Sustainable brands looking to communicate their green practices have long been commercial partners of BBC Global News due to our relevant and engaging content, our global and affluent audience, and our own commitment to being carbon neutral.

“Since the launch of BBC Future Planet, we have consistently offered audiences immersive, solutions-based content, and traffic to the site has increased exponentially over the past 12 months.

“We’re pleased brands like Hyundai want to be part of this success; to stay top-of-mind, and for the BBC’s expert storytellers to help them engage with audiences through creative and emotive brand campaigns,” O’Hara said.

Michael Cole, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Europe, said, “Beyond providing zero-emission mobility solutions on land, we also care about protecting fragile ecosystems at sea. That is why we partnered with Healthy Seas throughout this project.

“With the BBC we were able to win an important partner to tell our story. Together, we have successfully overcome the tremendous logistical challenges to make this vision become a reality,” Cole said.

Sibel Boner, Acting Regional Director of Ad Sales in Europe and Eurasia at BBC Global News, said, “We are excited to enter this commercial partnership with Hyundai, to communicate their story around the Healthy Seas project, a reflection of the trust and expertise the BBC has in producing immersive, engaging content that reaches global audiences.”

The film tells the story of how an abandoned fish farm on the coast of Greek island, Ithaca, has now become the solution to Hyundai’s sustainable car interiors. Travelling to the island, the film explores the devastating effect of a storm on the fish farm, which in its wake left the sea littered with industrial waste, ropes, pipes and fishing nets. Now, in some areas of the seabed on Ithaca’s coastline, there is no life left at all.

Despite the overwhelming scale of the problem, the BBC StoryWorks team takes audiences on an exhilarating journey with a team of 16 volunteer divers from around the world, who are working to restore Ithaca’s marine environment to its former glory.