CO2-friendly driving

HASAN & PARTNERS, Helsinki / NESTE / 2022

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As discussions around driving were heating up in 2021, energy company Neste saw that as a chance to create a lasting change in driving habits and reach a crucial target audience, young people in Finland aged 18 to 25. There was a lot of talk about the CO2 emissions from driving, but no one was taking ownership of how the emissions could be decreased by changing driving habits.

The brief from the client connected the project with Neste’s strategic purpose, creating a better future for our children. The objective came to be a change in driving habits among the target group and to stimulate a public debate on the impact of driving habits on transport emissions. Actions were designed to inspire and challenge driving schools to teach climate-friendly driving habits to those already obtaining their driving license.


Truly cutting down emissions of traffic and putting the purpose of Neste into practice required new concrete ways to show how the amount of CO2 emissions can be decreased by making simple changes in driving habits. Instead of focusing on telling people to give up on something, we wanted to highlight how savings could be created by paying more attention to everyday decisions. By targeting those just getting their driver’s licenses, an entire generation of drivers could learn to drive in an environmentally friendly way and spread knowledge to other generations. This would lower lifetime emissions significantly.


To test and prove concretely how emissions could be cut down, Finns were challenged to take a driving test. Subjects would drive a predetermined route in Helsinki two times, combining a variety of downtown and motorway sections. In the first round, driving would happen according to their own style, followed by a second session where the driving instructor gave them tips on decreasing emissions. The interpretation was carried out with a meter collecting information directly from the engine and verified with data partners: The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, and the Technical Research Centre of Finland. On average, emissions were 12% and even up to 18% less than in the first round. Targeting the young audience, drivers of the future, we had to understand their different needs for car use. Then, careful consideration was given to communicating the findings in an entertaining manner relatable to all youth around Finland.


How much would the CO2 emissions of driving decrease with simple changes in driving behavior? Our experiment in April 2022 showed that on average, the emissions decreased by around 12% and even up to 15%. To highlight the impact, the campaign launch following in June included challenging two well-known influencers to race against one another. Only this time, not to see who was fastest but who could drive the distance with the lowest emissions. The contents were strategically distributed across channels where maximum visibility among the youth could be achieved (50% YouTube, 30% TikTok, 20% Instagram). To create a movement and spread the campaign message to all audiences, a dedicated website hosted the CO2-friendly driving module. Further research on Finnish climate-friendly driving habits, or lack thereof, was carried out to create a stronger story for earned media and understand opportunities for future campaign activations.


Earned media coverage in Finland reached almost 10 million readers through TV and online media. Interviews with campaign spokespeople on leading morning talk shows secured just before the holidays ensured that the topic was on the minds of Finns this past summer.

The influencer marketing content reached around 75%* of young people aged 15-29 living in Finland. Reaching the target audience, especially on social media and through influencers offered Neste a chance to strengthen its relationship with the target audience, and position itself as the brand of choice for young climate-friendly drivers.

The campaign message created further awareness later in summer 2022, when Finnish media announced that the driving speeds on highways had decreased significantly. Owning the conversation around climate-friendly driving and the emissions of road traffic positioned Neste as the leader in climate-friendly driving and mitigating a real cultural change in driving habits.

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