Starting the fossil free dialogue

In an economy heavily concentrated in oil and gas, Yulu was challenged to help Canadian investors direct their money away from greenhouse gas polluters and into investments that align with their values. Partnering with Genus Capital, one of Canada’s pioneering investment management firms in fossil free and impact investing, we had a real opportunity to move the needle. And we did, through national media coverage and building mindshare among today and tomorrow’s investors


Genus Capital engaged Yulu for a public awareness campaign around the launch of Genus Fossil Free, the company’s suite of fossil free investment funds. It was a game-changing product in the impact investing space because it allowed Canadians to invest in a 100% fossil free fund for the first time.

Yulu wanted to ensure the Genus Fossil Free brand would stand on its own merit and meaningfully coexist with the Genus Capital brand. In order to achieve positioning and strategy that was built to last, we knew we’d need to take a step back from the whiteboard and look to the people on the frontline to hear about what they saw and heard every day.


Developing on point positioning and strategy for Genus Fossil Free meant starting with the right conversations. Our process began with stakeholder interviews, talking to the portfolio managers and the leadership team to learn what was resonating with clients. Next, we benchmarked Genus against its peers. Rather than only looking at direct competitors, we also analyzed one of the country’s most successful robo-advisor (a low-cost, tech-based offering which targets millennials) and one of North America’s largest firms, both of which had a carbon-conscious offering.

From there, we developed an 18-month strategic communications plan that has been our guiding force since day one. One of the main pillars of our strategy was to build Genus Capital CEO Wayne Wachell’s thought leadership in the mainstream business and finance press, while leveraging social media to strengthen ties with the clean energy and climate action communities. This playbook of objectives, story pillars, resources, and tactics has given just enough of an outline for our day-to-day creativity to colour within the lines of and ensures our storytelling follows the north star.


From day one, we tapped into a massive appetite among business and finance media to learn about fossil free investing as an innovative way to refresh the ‘socially responsible investing’ conversation – plus Genus’ role as a first mover in the space.

Within 6 months of the Genus team rubber-stamping the plan, Yulu garnered 36 pieces of media coverage, with tangible increases in quality each quarter as we continually developed existing and new media relationships. Wayne has appeared on Bloomberg TV, Business News Network, CBC’s On the Money to talk about fossil free investing. He is a sought after expert on the present and future of Canada’s divestment movement, having done interviews with Vice Motherboard, Financial Post and Yahoo! Finance on the matter.

In support of growing Wayne’s thought leadership, we helped the team elevate its research by packaging insights into a new Fossil Fuel Divestment Report that armed investors with compelling quantitative evidence for going fossil free.