Attenborough honoured with cardboard sculpture as he’s crowned Celebrity Sustainability Hero of the Year 2020

  • Sir David Attenborough adds Celebrity Sustainability Hero of the Year award to his mantlepiece, scooping the title with one quarter (25%) of the public vote.
  • To celebrate, an intricate sculpture in his likeness has been created entirely from cardboard, the UK’s sustainable packaging material.
  • New research from cardboard campaign group, Beyond the Box, reveals Brits consider Attenborough an ‘icon’, calling him ‘the nation’s conscience’ and ‘the greatest influencer’, when asked which celebrity had the greatest impact on their sustainability efforts this year.
  • Almost a third of Brits (30%) say their favourite famous faces encourage them to act more sustainably, while close to half (45%) say celebrities and influencers have a responsibility to use their platforms to encourage others to make eco-friendly choices.

Sustainable packaging campaign group, Beyond the Box, has crowned Sir David Attenborough its inaugural Celebrity Sustainability Hero of the Year.

Selected by 2,000 members of the public, Attenborough received a quarter of the vote (25%), beating an impressive list of British sustainability heavyweights and well-known environmentalists to the top spot.

To celebrate, Beyond the Box has created a new sculpture of Attenborough made from 97 layers of the UK’s sustainable packaging solution, cardboard. The impressive bust, which stands at almost 2ft tall and took over 500 hours to construct, was today unveiled in Battersea Park and commissioned as a tribute to Attenborough’s tireless efforts to promote sustainability amongst the British public.

Andy Barnetson from Beyond the Box comments: “At Beyond the Box, our aim is to keep Britons in the know about sustainable packaging solutions, like cardboard, and encourage everyone to make positive choices to help support the environment – whether that’s recycling pizza boxes or reusing shopping bags.

“This year, we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the famous faces doing the same, particularly those who are using their own platforms to keep sustainability in the spotlight and front of mind for people all over the UK – and what better way than to pay homage with an impressive sculpture painstakingly created out of this incredible, versatile material.”



Attenborough beat a distinguished shortlist which included Countryfile’s Matt Baker, presenters Kate Humble and Ben Fogle, and activist Lily Cole to win 2020’s award.

Those casting votes called Attenborough an ‘icon’, ‘the nation’s conscience’ and the ‘greatest influencer’, pointing out his ‘shocking’ yet ‘inspiring’ documentaries for bringing attention to climate change and plastic waste in oceans. Others mentioned his ‘integrity’ and lifelong commitment to sustainability and the natural world.

“From his powerful documentaries to his record-breaking Instagram launch, Sir David Attenborough continues to educate and have a positive impact on us all, making him an exceedingly worthy winner of our first ever Celebrity Sustainability Hero of the Year award,” adds Barnetson.

Brits revealed famous faces like Attenborough have inspired them to use reusable bags and containers (36%), make recycling a bigger priority (35%), dispose of rubbish responsibly (34%) and choose products packaged in more sustainable materials (30%) during 2020.



The Beyond the Box research also indicated just how much influence celebrities have on the general public, with one in five revealing they trust their favourite celebrity or influencer’s opinion more than the opinions of their friends (22%) or even family members (21%).

What’s more, when it comes to sustainability, famous faces have a lot to answer for. Almost half of Brits (45%) think celebrities and influencers should use their platforms to encourage others to make eco-friendly choices, while four in 10 (40%) believe they have a ‘greater duty’ to help the environment than those who aren’t in the spotlight.

The good news is, when celebrities and influencers do use their platform to talk about environment, their followers are particularly engaged. Three in 10 (30%) respondents said they would make an effort to help the environment if their favourite celebrities or influencers advised them to, compared to those who would buy a product or service (23%) or go to a restaurant (24%) after a celebrity endorsement.

Barnetson explains: “It’s clear that celebrities and influential figures have a big impact on the British public, from guiding the purchases they make, to informing their opinions on all manner of issues.

“With sustainability such a hot topic, it’s crucial those in the spotlight use their voices to encourage members of the public to continue to make small sustainable changes in the home or in their workplace.

“During an incredibly turbulent year, Britons have continued to make sustainability a top priority and we look forward to seeing the nation continue working together to create positive change throughout 2021.”


All images available to download here


Notes to Editors

Consumer research of 2004 adults conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Beyond the Box, November 2020.

About Beyond the Box

Bringing together experts from leading UK packaging companies, Beyond the Box, launched by the Confederation of Paper Industries, helps Britons learn more about the nation’s sustainable packaging choice: Cardboard.

Visit Cardboard.org.uk for more information.

For more information, including spokesperson requests, please contact Sophie Menzies or Marlise Green at Richmond & Towers Communications:

Sophie@rtc.london / 07747842021

Marlise@rtc.london / 07983430183