Genuine Solutions Logo

Genuine Solutions

Barley has been appointed by tech recovery and recycling experts Genuine Solutions, to develop a new communications and engagement strategy to support Genuine Solutions’s business aims as it merges three existing brands: GSUK, Genuine Solutions and Genuine Solutions Group, into one corporate entity.  

Genuine Solutions has developed its environmental focus since its inception 15 years ago, evolving from an award winning mobile and smart devices accessory distributor to a company that also provides recovery, recycling and reuse solutions for technology products, with the ambition of 100% reuse and zero products going to landfill.  

Following our appointment, Barley instigated a robust stakeholder research programme, designed to draw out perceptions of the different brands. These insights enabled us to design and facilitate a half day strategy and messaging workshop for 16 key members of the Genuine Solutions team, which we were able to run successfully despite lockdown restrictions, by using Zoom break out rooms. 

Barley has since developed a comprehensive integrated digital and media communications strategy which supports the five-year business plan, with the specific objectives of: 

  • Raising the profile of Genuine Solutions  
  • Enhancing the reputation of Genuine Solutions, demonstrating its services to stakeholders including customers, partners and consumers  
  • Raising awareness of the scale of tech waste and its impact on the environment, along with financial implications for both organisations and consumers  
  • Inspiring action from individuals and organisations to support the achievement of the company’s vision.  

The ultimate aim for our communications is to support Genuine Solutions’ primary brand articulation: helping us all waste less technology through recovery, relove and redistribution.  We look forward to launching the first wave of media and digital activity in the Autumn. 

Staffordshire County Council

Staffordshire County Council

Barley Communications was appointed by Staffordshire County Council to devise a campaign to boost plastic bottle recycling, with the aim of saving 46 million bottles from the County’s waste stream each year. Despite increased awareness about the environmental importance of reusables and reusing plastic bottles, Staffordshire residents alone still use millions and throw away four in 10.

To help address the issue, Barley devised Plastic Bottles: Recycle One and All, a campaign that simply asked residents to recycle at least one more plastic bottle a week in their home recycling bin. Through social activity, it highlighted that despite misconceptions, any bottle can be recycled – not just milk and fizzy drinks, but all food, drink, bathroom and most plastic chemical bottles – and how best to recycle them. Residents were also shown inspiring examples of how recycled plastic bottles can be turned into useful things like park benches, road bollards and car batteries.

As research found that households with primary school-aged children were most likely to not recycle sufficiently, a central part of the campaign was community engagement in schools. Schools were invited to enter a competition whereby the most engaged one had the chance of winning a set of playground equipment made from recycled plastic. A Plastic Bottle ‘Coconut Shy’ fair type game also toured participating schools, getting pupils to learn about recycling in a fun way.

As the campaign launched in late February, shortly before schools shut due to COVID-19, activity had to be postponed, so results are not yet available.

MIW Water Cooler Experts

Formed in 1989, MIW now supplies over 7,000 businesses and public sector organisations with Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) approved public drinking fountains, bottle refill stations and water coolers, and is the UK’s leading authority on outdoor drinking fountains. For the last 30 years MIW has been developing and building innovative, high quality products for some of the UK’s leading public and private sector clients including London’s Borough Market, ZSL London Zoo, Greater London Authority, Chelsea Football Club, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club, Scottish Water and The Bank of England.  MIW also works with many of the UK’s leading architects and construction companies to ensure that drinking water provision is part of the design process for new buildings.

In the UK 38.5m plastic bottles are used every day – only just over half make it to recycling, while more than 16m are put into landfill, burnt or leak into the environment and oceans each day.

CEO Mike Winter is passionate about putting an end to our reliance on single use plastic bottles, and recently pledged twenty free vandal-proof, hygienic sports bottle refill stations to London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s project to provide free drinking water across the capital.

Through a series of sustainability focused thought leadership articles in key trade titles and targeted news stories, Barley works with MIW to raise awareness of the organisations leading the way on providing high impact alternatives to single use plastic, such as Canary Wharf Group, where we announced the UK’s first installation of trackable water refill stations in a shopping mall.

Mike Winter, CEO at MIW Water Cooler Experts, said: “Barley Communications have constantly delivered a first class service for MIW. They are unlike any other PR agency I have worked with. I have always found them to be consummate professionals, their outreach has been impressive and working ethic second to none. Sam & her team have worked on a number of high profile accounts liaising directly with MIW’s top clients including: Thames Water, Mayor of London (GLA) & Scottish Water. The decision to change from a traditional based advertising route has been a smart move for my company, not only helping to establish MIW’s presence as the UK’s leading water refill company but also helping us win new business.”

[notebox]MIW supplies businesses and public sector organisations with public drinking fountains, bottle refill stations and water coolers, and is the UK’s leading authority on outdoor drinking fountains.[/notebox]

London Waste and Recycling Board

The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) challenged Barley to create a PR campaign to engage 16-24-year-old Londoners with the environmental issues posed by fast fashion and encourage them to consider more sustainable alternatives.

We provided full-service communications support steeped in audience insights, which led us to the #LoveNotLandfill campaign title and an integrated communication strategy covering traditional media, influencer relations and social outreach. All activity had the broader aim of driving behavioural change, ensuring clothes last longer, are reused and recycled, and are diverted away from landfill and incinerators.

There have been LOADS of campaign highlights – brokering a partnership with anonymous street artist Bambi to create an exclusive piece of artwork is definitely up there! See the video below for more…

Ali Moore, Head of Communications and Behaviour Change at LWARB said: “Working with Barley Communications on our #LoveNotLandfill campaign has been not only enjoyable but hugely fruitful: we were overwhelmed by the attention and support that Barley helped us achieve. They didn’t just deliver media relations but helped us with the whole approach, including ideas generation, social media management and film production. They also hooked us up with some great partners, collaborators and creative specialists along the way. The whole Barley team has been enthusiastic, cheerful and eminently practical at every stage – a flexible and responsive communications agency who’ve delivered reach, impact and engagement beyond our expectations.”

North London Waste Authority

We’re supporting North London Waste Authority (NLWA) to deliver its Residual Waste Reduction Plan, which aims to reduce the amount of waste north London householders throw away.

We devise and deliver proactive behaviour change campaigns that inspire audiences to reduce their environmental impact. We have created agenda-topping stories and delivered compelling social media activations on food waste, furniture upcycling, clothes swaps and the scourge of recycling contamination from nappies.

Our recent single-use plastics campaign to encourage a switch to reusable facemasks has achieved coverage across national and regional media including Sky News, The Independent, The Week and LBC and we are delighted that the ‘Swish and Style’ clothes swap project has been shortlisted for the edie Sustainability Leaders Awards 2021.



hubbubHubbub makes environmental matters matter, creating fun campaigns that people latch onto and which go on to have a life of their own. They take a fresh approach to communicating environmental issues, focusing on people’s passions such as fashion, food, homes and neighbourhoods.

We work with Hubbub at every stage of their campaigns to raise awareness of issues and change behaviour, from strategy through to implementation.  We also work closely with Hubbub’s corporate partners, such as Unilever, Mothercare, Starbucks, Costa and Pret A Manger, to make sure brands are carefully integrated into campaign messages.


“It is a joy working with Barley. They combine great strategic insight with an ability to tenaciously deliver results. On top of that they are an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Trewin Restorick, CEO and Founder, Hubbub


Read and watch the highlights of our work launching the Square Mile Challenge or find out here about our work to change behaviour.


INCPEN is the Industry Council for Research on Packaging and the Environment, whose membership is an influential group of International and British companies who have a common interest in packaging and sustainability.  INCPEN’s aims include ensuring policy on packaging makes a positive contribution to sustainability and encouraging industry to minimise the environmental impact of packaging and packaged products.

We supported INCPEN with the release of the results of a study on litter in Scotland, with terrific results.  We highlighted the increase in Scotland’s litter, framing this in the context of Scottish Government investment in a new litter strategy two years earlier, generating coverage across a range of Scottish media.