Climate Relay | Design for sustainability awareness and working together


World Relay approached 4c based off the success of the Queens Baton for the commonwealth games in 2014 to design them the symbol of their greatest challenge yet. To raise awareness of activities that are improving the world by carrying out a non-stop relay from Glasgow (hosts of COP26) to Sharm el-Sheikh (hosts of COP27) to deliver a message through 18 countries and over 7,200km from the next generation to current world leaders.

This baton was different however. It wasn’t inviting nations to participate, it was highlighting incredible initiatives improve our planet internationally.

To design the baton we repurposed our process for marketing and branding exercises that originated from the previous baton design and hosted workshops with the guys running the relay and additional stakeholders. This led to us unofficially rebranding Conference Of Parties (COP) to Community of People. This set the tone of the ambition as more and more stakeholders got involved and initiatives from all over the 18 countries the baton will pass through were highlighted.

"Working with 4c to develop the Running Out of Time relay baton has been a fantastic experience. The team understood that the baton is at the heart of the relay's story and the result is something that is unique and perfectly captures our mission of togetherness in the fight against the climate crisis."

 Jamie Hay - Running Out of Time Co-Founder

Whilst we explored several directions for the baton, pulling up messages and symbolism from the various workshops, it was when pen touched paper over the selected design that we instantly recognised the frontrunner as we looked to pull the 18 nations together through 4 pillars of change (international, national, local and individual) and where the baton is exchanged, that we’re stronger together. All while holding the message high and sharing its meaning from the moment it’s read at the opening ceremony, until it’s read to world leaders at COP27.

With all stakeholders being behind the concept, we came back to our ambition to repurpose as much material as possible without buying virgin stock or using rare materials within the timeframe and budget. Instead, we settled for repurposed stainless stock which was painstakingly plasma cut, formed, welded and finished. Wooden dowel that was left over from a project long ago that was reformed and bent to suit. We even were able to repurpose a GPS tracker from the clients previous relays.

The result

From presenting the concepts to the organisers through to presenting them and mockups of the baton to stakeholders, it hit everyones tick boxes. All messages on point with other areas of the relay from film makers to events and charities.

In 2022, the baton made its maiden voyage setting off from Glasgow Green, chaperoned by 3000 of Glasgows next generation.

Capabilities Utilised

  • Story development
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Concept development
  • Industrial design
  • Brand development
  • Prototyping
  • 1-off production
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