Episode 4

Can Marketing Save the Planet - Ep 55: The journey of a sustainable creative agency, from the inside out! with Rob Minto, The Onlii

Published on: 8th May, 2023

A sustainable creative agency on a journey to make positive change, we caught up with Rob Minto, managing director of The Onlii. Rob talks about his own journey into sustainability, how he was inspired by the B Corp movement and why he set up the Onlii.

Aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Rob discusses how these really helped to embed the environment and the bigger picture into the business strategy, he explains, “as part of the collective we went through a process of selecting some of the UN SDGS that we as a business would proactively target and that we could proactively influence”. He goes on to talk about how they work with those SDGs, and how every decision is done through an SDG lens, even going so far as to aligning them and embedding them into everyone’s personal objectives. Something that has been hugely inspiring and motivational.

Making The Onlii a ‘force for good’, Rob talks about how they are continuously learning all the time, and that sustainability is more than just a one off campaign, “we all need to be more aware and look at the whole picture”. In relation to clients, Rob acknowledges that there is a lot to do and that some clients may not be ready for a sustainability focus yet, but they are trying to edge them onto that journey. 

We talk about how there are still many challenges around business and marketing transformation in the sustainability space and why it’s more important than ever to continue asking big uncomfortable questions and coming up with solutions that ultimately drive things forward. As is the essence of our work, marketing and advertising has a huge role to play in positioning things differently, really considering its impact and very simply, doing what you say you’re going to do.

We all have a responsibility to do better and educate ourselves and Rob believes this needs to be led from the top. The appetite to change has got to improve otherwise as Rob explains, “those agencies and brands who don’t come on the journey will get left behind and won’t be here in 10 years”.

If you want a great example of how to truly embed sustainability into your business, motivate those around you and get people thinking differently, then tune in and have a listen. There are some brilliant ideas in this one! 

Since recording we noticed that all the team on The Onlii took our ‘100 Points Challenge’ - and they gave us some excellent feedback on how it’s inspired them to keep learning. A simple take away you can do for yourself - or indeed create as a team challenge. More on our 100 Points challenge here - and more on Rob and The Onlii here.


You’ll find the Podcast on all the usual pod platforms - and if you love it, do share it and spread the word. Talking about climate change and the role we play is one of the most important things we can do. So join the conversation. We’re all in this together.

Our podcasts are recorded purely via online conferencing platforms, we apologise for any minor sound quality issues.

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About the Podcast

The Marketing Society podcast
The Marketing Society is a progressive global community of senior marketers. Our purpose is to empower our members to be brave leaders. Since 1959, we have grown into an influential network of 2500 members.
The Marketing Society is a progressive global community of senior marketers. Our purpose is to empower our members to be brave leaders. Since 1959, we have grown into an influential network of more than 2650+ members across our global hubs: London, Scotland, Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE and New York. Our members are mostly senior clients (over seventy per cent) from brands such as ASOS, Barclays, IBM, Disney, HSBC, Mars, Samsung, Unilever and Vodafone.

Everything we do is through a brave lens – pushing boundaries, tackling taboos, providing comfortable spaces to have important conversations and building meaningful connections. We speak up, inspire one another, share best practice and discuss the challenges and opportunities we face. We work together to make our industry better for business and better for the world around us.

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