Irish Climate Conversations Research & Reporting

As part of the Climate Action Policy in Ireland, each year the Department for Environment, Climate and Conversation is required to go out and speak with members of the public from all walks of life to understand their views on climate change.

H/Advisors Cicero were appointed to support in the end-to-end delivery of the project across a nine month period. Ultimately, the Climate Conversations are designed to act as a feedback loop between the public and the Government to inform better, targeted policy that will drive climate action. Key to our commitment in achieving this was speaking to as many varied voices on climate change from across all populations in Ireland.

Strategy & Execution

Delivering the Climate Conversations is a multifaceted project, which involved designing a research approach that could pull together the multiple strands of both qualitative and quantitative research to produce one summary report with clear policy recommendations. As such, H/Advisors Cicero were responsible for producing a literature review, to summarise the current best practice on driving behaviour change around climate change.

Based on the findings of the literature review, we drafted an online public consultation, recruited and moderated 10 focus groups with hard to reach audiences from across Ireland (including farmers, remote island communities and the travelling community) and engaged with all PPN groups from across Ireland. We also conducted a series of in-depth interviews with expert stakeholders to identify areas of best practice and community-based learnings.

The Climate Conversations were an opportunity to show how H/Advisors Cicero can work with public sector clients to deliver national campaigns and research initiatives. The scope of the research encouraged us to engage with members of the public from across Ireland, to make sure all voices and viewpoints were heard and represented. Being able to present the recommendations to the Minister in Ireland to inform strategy is a fantastic way we’ve been able to deliver meaningful change to drive forward the sustainability agenda in Ireland

Aideen Ginnell, Eu Director


Following four months of active outreach and engagement with members of the public across Ireland, we wrote up the key findings into the 2022 Climate Conversations Report.

In particular, we developed thinking further on the importance of climate literacy as a topic that influences drivers of behaviour change around taking climate action. We also identified where and who the public saw as responsible for delivering on climate action and at what level across individuals, communities and the government.

A summary of the key findings from the Climate Conversations were presented in working groups to over 100 members of the Civil Service, to actively inform the drafting of the Climate Action Plan 2023.

If you wish to discuss any of the issues mentioned in this article, please contact Aideen in H/Advisors Cicero’s Dublin team on

H/Advisors Cicero has been the retained public affairs agency for the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) since 2014. Since that time, we have undertaken various public affairs requests including supporting UK and EU campaigns, developed PA strategy, provided up to date monitoring and analysis for key internal stakeholders, all with the objective of creating a favourable legislative landscape for the health food industry.

Strategy & Execution

At a strategic level, we worked with the leadership of the HFMA to help drive understanding and awareness amongst EU policymakers of the important role health food products play in the broader public health debate. We also advocated for changes to the Food Supplements Directive to ensure the EU-wide levels set for the specific list of vitamins and minerals was equal to and not below the standard already in place in the UK.

H/Advisors Cicero engaged with EU stakeholders to build HFMA’s presence among the EU institutions. An initial priority was to build allies for HFMA in all three institutions. On the campaign, we directly engaged with the European Commission DG for Health and Food, and scientific committee on health (sub group of EC), and EU Food Safety Authority (FSA). We drafted position papers, amendments, statements, clarifications, in addition to making technical issues digestible to EU wide politicians ENVI committee in the European Parliament.

We also provide ongoing day-to-day support for HFMA across their public affairs monitoring, key legislative and regulatory analysis and provide senior counsel sessions throughout the year to hone in on particularly pertinent activities or events.

Having worked for HFMA for several years, day-to-day operations of the account are seamless. Our greatest shared achievements have resulted from intelligently designed and executed campaigns. Leveraging HFMAs deep sectoral knowledge alongside H/Advisors Cicero’s far reaching networks and campaign toolkit to achieve meaningful change for a vibrant and positive industry.

Simon Fitzpatrick, Head of Public Affairs


We continue to provide HFMA’s public affairs team with a full service public affairs toolkit. A standout moment in our engagement was designing and executing a campaign that advocated for changes to the Food Supplements Directive to ensure the EU levels set for vitamins and minerals was equal to the standard already in place in the UK. This, in turn, increased the benchmark requirement across the EU. which increased the benchmark requirement across all member states. The win commercially meant HFMA members were able to sell more products across the EU.

If you wish to discuss any of the issues mentioned in this article, please contact Simon in H/Advisors Cicero’s Public Affairs team on

In January 2018, Royal Mail Group (RMG) and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) announced a ground-breaking agreement on matters including pay, pensions and operational change.

Following the decision to close RMG’s Defined Benefit pension scheme, RMG and the CWU agreed to implement a new Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) scheme combined with a guaranteed lump sum at retirement to deliver the best pension arrangement for RMG’s c.143,000 UK employees. However, this required primary legislative change, which the Government and officials were initially sceptical about implementing for just one company.

Strategy & Execution

This long-term campaign began in November 2017, with RMG and CWU called to appear in front of the Work and Pensions Select Committee to contribute to its inquiry into CDC pension schemes. The Committee’s report, published in July 2018, recommended that the Government move quickly to enable the creation of the UK’s first CDC scheme; the Government subsequently consulted on the issue and stated in March 2019 it would bring forward legislation for CDC schemes as soon as possible, also backed by the Shadow Pensions Minister.

As other major political developments – including the change of Prime Minister, turmoil over Brexit, the 2019 election and the COVID-19 outbreak – took centre stage, RMG worked to maintain momentum with senior stakeholders across Westminster. Through the pandemic, RMG updated previous evidence, including extensive actuarial modelling, and informing stakeholders about the impact of COVID-19 on the financial markets and RMG’s proposed scheme.

Our work with the Royal Mail Group and Communication Workers Union really was about making history and shows how strong stakeholder engagement over a sustained period can bring about real world change that makes a difference to the lives of thousands of people.

Tom Frackowiak, Managing Director UK Public Affairs


The Pensions Schemes Act 2021 was given Royal Assent on 11 February 2021. 

The campaign aimed to build cross-party support, see the smooth passage of the Bill, and ensure the Bill was compatible with RMG’s scheme design.

If you wish to discuss any of the issues mentioned in this article, please contact Tom in H/Advisors Cicero’s UK Public Affairs team on

IHG commissioned a board level report providing comprehensive insight and analysis into upcoming policy and regulatory developments in the ESG space impacting: IHG operations, its supply chains, its investors and owners of IHG franchises in  key regions identified (EU, UK, US, China).

Strategy & Execution

Working alongside our US and China H/Advisors teams, we provided a bespoke ESG insight and analysis tool on in all key regions identified across (EU, UK, US, China). This was supplemented by a benchmarking exercise, consisting of an assessment of governmental and societal expectations pertaining to ESG in the four identified markets benchmarked to IHG’s existing ESG commitments.

A gap analysis was also conducted highlighting areas in which IHG’s commitments would need to be developed further to keep up with changing expectations (both from a policy and societal perspective). 

ESG regulations and policy are increasingly a part of board level conversations, given the potential material impact on operations across businesses. Our work played a crucial role in informing how IHG build ESG considerations into their future strategy

Helena Walsh – Managing Director, Brussels


The final report was presented by Cicero to the IHG board and  allowed IHG to have a clear understanding of all obligations and opportunities arising from the outlined ESG policy and regulatory requirements (including IHG reporting requirements).

Working with IHG’s internal stakeholders, we identified key actions the business would need to take to overcome the gaps identified and presented. Our findings were used by the IHG board to inform their future strategy. 

If you wish to discuss any of the issues mentioned in this article, please contact Helena in H/Advisors Cicero’s Brussels team on


HMC Schools, the professional Association of heads of the leading independent schools, wanted to explore how fit for the purpose the UK’s current education system, and whether it is appropriate for meeting the needs of future generations. They wanted to hear from teachers – working in both state and private schools – about how the framework could be improved to better serve the needs of all students to drive social mobility and purpose across the UK.

Strategy and executive:

We co-designed a survey for teachers with HMC Schools, looking into what they feel the purpose of education should be and how far the current education system is helping to deliver this. The survey was scripted and hosted in-house by H/Advisors Cicero, with the link shared organically to respondents though HMC Schools and teacher networks. We had 790 responses from teachers, educational leaders and academics to the survey, the first of its kind that HMC Schools has run.

H/Advisors Cicero presented the research findings back to a working group at HMC Schools, subsequently drafting a thought leadership report that set out the vision for educational reform, with clear calls to action on the change sought by the teaching profession.


Following the HMC Conference in September 2021 where the initial findings were presented, the full report was launched in November 2021. The report was widely picked up across social media, with the campaign receiving Tier 1 coverage in the Times and the i-newspaper. The aim will be to continue the momentum for educational reform into 2022.


H/Advisors Cicero has been the retained public affairs provider for the Police Federation of England & Wales (PFEW) since 2017.

H/Advisors Cicero has since worked on a mandate to support PFEW’s Protect the Protectors campaign alongside the organisation’s overall stakeholder engagement with parliamentarians and Government. 

Strategy and execution

The Protect the Protectors campaign sought to address the significant increase in attacks on emergency service workers. H/Advisors Cicero worked with the Federation to translate this campaign into a legislative ask, calling on the Government to double the custodial sentences for the crime. 

H/Advisors Cicero sought to recruit supportive backbench MPs and government ministers to enact this change. The campaign’s legislative objectives soon became a Private Member’s Bill following lobbying from Holly Lynch MP, a champion of the campaign, who was recruited by H/Advisors Cicero.

We then provided political engagement support and strategic counsel to the Federation, navigating the client through the legislative process and organising bilateral meetings with MPs and Government to build support for the Bill’s passage. 


The Bill became law in September 2018, enacting the campaign’s primary objective. 

Since then, the campaign has sparked a wider conversation around support for the Police and their protection which culminated in the ‘Police Covenant’ campaign and a campaign for further harsher sentences for those who attack emergency service workers. 

Both campaigns have since been adopted by the Government and have been included into the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which is currently making its way through parliament.