Saying ‘ello to elho

A group of women standing on a metal staircase

We’ve worked with elho since November 2019, yet have never met our marketing contacts in person. We have monthly teams calls but have never had opportunity to visit them in Holland where they are based. Earlier this month, that all changed when Beth and Holly were invited to Tilbury to meet them, see their amazing offices and facilities, and catch up with the company’s other PR agencies across Europe. It was an incredible, informative and inspiring trip – not just to find out more about elho but to meet other agencies, find out how they do things, and the media landscape and PR practices in each country.

We knew elho have impressive sustainable initiatives and credentials but we really had to see things in the flesh to truly gain a grasp on the scale.  elho don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk and truly live and breathe all things nature. You immediately sense that as soon as you walk in the door and are greeted with so much greenery and sunlight beaming through their stylish offices.

But you’d expect nothing less from a B Corp! elho’s eco credentials are incredible and the company has been at the forefront of sustainability for many years and attaches great importance to designing and producing products with great care and consideration for nature. They champion “the beauty of waste” mentality and at least 97% of their pots are made from recycled materials, and all are 100% recyclable. They have wind turbines that powers all production on site, including the most sustainable factory in Europe.

Our day in Tilburg

Our day began with a welcome from Patty (PR manager) and Claudie, (marketing manager). We loved their approach of welcoming everyone and instead of telling us about their career journeys, they focused on their hobbies, families and what they do outside of work. This opened up conversations and each person in the room shared a little about themselves too. It also meant we were able to talk about our pets. It had been five minutes after all.

 We then began our tour. The open culture of elho was instantly apparent with the factory being adjoined to the offices, with glass walls everywhere creating a sense of team across all departments. We went into the production area, which featured large glass walls and windows to make the factory unusually  light and airy, and meant that staff have a nice view to look throughout the day. We then saw where and how the pots are made. Across 21 machines, elho produces a staggering (and almost incomprehensible) 85,000 pots a day. To further the sustainable credentials of elho’s production, the heat from the production line in the factory area is transported through the vents and then used to heat the offices.

We then moved into the retail display area; a space designed to offer POS inspiration for stockists. It was absolute torture to be in such an amazing retail area and not be able to buy anything! But it was great to see the different ways that elho supports its stockists and inspires customers to purchase.

We then went around the offices and got huge office envy (and inspiration!) as we went past long banks of desks that were surrounded by plants and trees at every turn. There were so many different breakout spaces and working areas, with sofas, hot desks, smaller meeting room and larger spaces around to suit the different meeting needs and working styles.

Seeing Europe’s most sustainable warehouse

Our tour then continued with us all hopping into an electric bus to travel to elho’s other site nearby to see the fulfilment and distribution side of things that opened last year to help elho fulfil demand and future growth. Words don’t really do the scale of it justice! It is the most sustainable warehouse in Europe and the largest energy storage system in the Netherlands. We only saw one of three areas but discovering the whole site is the size of six football pitches blew our minds.

After a delicious green lunch, we met some of the design team to find out about the process, where they get their inspiration, and how they choose the materials. We were also lucky enough to have a sneak peek of new products in development and can’t wait to start promoting them!

We were then treated to a really unique opportunity to meet Olaf Elderenbosch, the CEO of elho, who told us about the history of the company, and the background of how his family founded it. We had chance to ask him questions and asked what his greatest career learning was – he responded “always have fun”.  Working at elho, we’re sure that is very easy to do.

Over to us

Then it was our turn!

Each agency presented an overview of who they are, what they do for elho and how PR in their country works. We discussed how the media operates differently from country to country and how magazines are in decline in some countries yet thriving in others. We found that print media is still very popular in some countries with magazine subscriptions on the increase, but in others, the focus is really shifting online. It was really interesting to learn what works best in each country, and how PR needs to adapt accordingly.

It was a truly fascinating day and a really unique opportunity. Each agency brought a unique insight so it was great to get to meet them and to begin exploring opportunities together – not just for elho but for all our clients.