The impact of climate change has been felt globally. This year has seen historic temperatures, and natural disasters related to climate change heavily impact the lives of millions around the world. Also in recent years, great strides have been made toward the development of climate technology designed to provide the path toward reduced carbon emissions for some of the largest creators of greenhouse gasses.
Increased funding over the years, doubling from 2019 to 2020, indicates investors are betting big on sustainability. While the market is estimated to grow to nearly $62B, the current challenge for many of the technologies in this space has been adoption on a scale that will make a measurable impact.
Many organizations must make the financial case for investing in technology that takes years to show any sort of return, and in fact may only increase costs. This is a steep hurdle to overcome, but not an impossible one given the right approach.
Effective public relations can help play a pivotal role in swaying perception and influence key decision makers. In the race toward climate solutions, communications strategies that drive conversations from the top down within an organization can increase adoption rate of green tech. We work with organizations and individuals tasked with selling sustainability to some of the world’s largest companies and here are the most effective ways PR can help make the case for climate tech investment.
Reframe the Conversation
Reframe the sustainability conversation and position adoption in an appealing manner. It’s important to be informed of the current state of the market. For lasting change the discussion must move beyond it being the “right thing to do” – it must be a practical business move that impacts revenue.
Educate Your Audience
Climate change is impacting businesses and communities. In the UK noncompliance of their aggressive sustainability laws comes with heavy penalties. The U.S has been slower to enact penalties and instead opted for rewarding companies that make proactive changes but either way, there is no reason to wait on adopting this baseline technology. Whether companies make the choice now or are forced into carbon reduction measures by government regulation, increased accountability and disclosures are coming.
The U.S government, similar to other countries, has a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 and 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035. To achieve these targets, increased adoption of climate solutions are inevitable. Companies are looking at everything from alternative proteins, EV charging, energy storage, and emissions & sustainability reporting to get ahead of government mandates and potential penalties.
The First Investment
Carbon accounting software, for example, is becoming more critical as regulations require companies to disclose their carbon output from their own operations, to their vendors. This sets a baseline so companies can track if other sustainability initiatives are actually reducing emissions. Without the proper tools to measure and share data, organizations will have a hard time justifying any investments in climate tech.
Share Your Progress
Research shows that 92% of people are more likely to trust a company that supports social or environmental issues. In addition 51% of employees report that they would not work for a business that didn’t have strong sustainability policies. These numbers demonstrate the value of being able to communicate progress on sustainability goals. With validated, third party metrics companies can see real business benefits from adopting and sharing their efforts to reduce carbon emissions. This is where PR can come into play and to help companies get credit for the hard work they are doing/investments they are making.
PR Drives Change
PR experts can frame the conversation, develop messaging, and disseminate, en masse to the proper audiences the momentum client technology is making for a company. If the reductions in energy bills and lower carbon emissions aren’t enough to move the needle, this public perception can help win approval for additional spending on sustainability within an organization.
For providers working in the space, creating a halo-effect for the company implementing new climate tech is just as critical as clearly articulating the cost savings. Public relations can lead those conversations through market education that is nuanced for each audience. In the fight against climate change, leveraging public relations is not only impactful for the innovators creating the technology, but can also drive adoption through strategic positioning within the companies using the technology.