The logo for the UK Company Culture Awards with a collection of office furniture in the background

Oban International’s sustainable relocation: Turning vision into action

Oban International is a digital marketing agency that specialises in international growth. We are thrilled to be nominated for a UK Company Culture Award. This recognition highlights the team’s commitment to creating a positive influence in the local community.


What does Oban International do?

Founded in 2002, Oban International stands out in the digital marketing world with our innovative approach to international growth. Through a unique network of over 450 Local In-Market Experts spanning 80 countries, we deliver a comprehensive suite of services, including SEO, paid media, content marketing, UX, CRO, digital PR, and ATL media planning and buying. Our expertise extends beyond digital strategies, encompassing a deep understanding of the cultural and linguistic nuances vital for successful global campaigns.


The initiative that made a difference

YMCA DownsLink Group logoThe path to the UK Company Culture Awards nomination began with a forward-thinking initiative reflecting Oban’s commitment to sustainability and community engagement. Transitioning to hybrid working in Autumn 2023 prompted us to downsize our office significantly and shift to a managed office space. Seeing this as an opportunity, we approached our charity partner YMCA DownsLink Group – a charity working to prevent youth homelessness in Surrey and Sussex – to recycle and repurpose 21 years’ worth of office belongings, aiming to minimise environmental impact and contribute positively to the community.

We viewed this as a genuine partnership dedicated to sustainability: Oban would repurpose our belongings into three areas of YMCA DownsLink Group – their new office, client housing, and shops – while also reducing moving costs by half. The emphasis was on reusing items to create value for others, as well as reducing waste as much as possible.


A strategic approach to social impact

We set clear objectives from the outset. These were to:

  1. Halve moving costs (i.e. £10,000 savings) by recycling and repurposing office contents.
  2. Enrich the lives of YMCA staff and clients by providing essential items.
  3. Make an equivalent £10,000 donation in reusable items.
  4. Minimise waste sent to landfill.


The YMCA had new offices to furnish – low on the priority list for charity funding. Oban’s idea was to equip the YMCA offices with furniture, IT and equipment made available from the move. In addition, we would donate our kitchen equipment, soft furnishings, games, and TV sets to their client homes for their residents’ use. Anything left would go to their shops to sell.


Turning vision into action

The relocation required careful planning to minimise disruption. Each item, including desks and kitchen appliances, was documented and distributed among YMCA offices, client housing, or charity shops. Meticulous coordination between Oban’s team, YMCA staff, and external partners ensured a smooth transition.

We furnished the YMCA office with essential items such as meeting tables and chairs, desks, office chairs, and reception furniture. Additionally, we provided IT equipment including desktops, monitors, and cables, with assistance from our IT provider in setting up their new space.

For YMCA residences, we donated pool and table tennis tables to enhance social activities. We also contributed items to improve comfort and quality of life, including fridge freezers, a coffeemaker, sofas, kitchen equipment, board games, pictures, cushions, rugs, lamps, and Christmas decorations.


Impact beyond numbers

The initiative’s tangible outcomes were significant:

  • Donated goods worth £10,611, which exceeded our target.
  • Zero rubbish removal costs demonstrated commitment to sustainability.
  • Furnished YMCA offices and residences with essential items, improving quality of life.
  • Donated leftover items to YMCA shops for resale, supporting fundraising efforts.

But it wasn’t merely about numbers. This initiative brought us all together at Oban, contributing to a shared sense of purpose and reminding us why we’re committed to making our community better.


Looking ahead

Oban’s collaboration with YMCA DownsLink Group was a genuine win-win. It demonstrates how recycling and sustainable practices can create partnerships that benefit everyone. Our team collectively rolled up their sleeves, and you can see the difference it made.

Sarah Jennings, Oban’s CEO, remarked, “This nomination for the UK Company Culture Awards is testament to the dedication and spirit of our team, showing that when we come together with a shared purpose, we can make such a positive impact.”

The last word comes from Sam Hart from YMCA DownsLink Group, who said, “We are so grateful to Oban International for their continued support for YMCA DownsLink – we couldn’t do it without you.”

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To keep up to date with international digital marketing news and views, visit Oban’s regularly updated blog or follow Oban on LinkedIn.

Oban International is the digital marketing agency specialising in international expansion.
Our LIME (Local In-Market Expert) Network provides up to date cultural input and insights from over 80 markets around the world, helping clients realise the best marketing opportunities and avoid the costliest mistakes.

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