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Sustainability Week or Sustainability Year?

Last month we celebrated Sustainability Week, an initiative developed seven years ago by Economist Impact. And this week we see Earth Day take place, as it does on 22nd April every year.

While it’s great to see such an important issue being highlighted by events, panels, articles and op-eds, it’s also a concern that every week isn’t Sustainability Week, particularly given the dire warnings from the latest IPCC report. It assessed the impact of climate change, looked at ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels. It also reviewed vulnerabilities and the limits of the natural world and human societies to adapt to climate change. 

Needless to say, it isn’t happy reading. The report concludes that the world can still hope to stave off the worst ravages of climate breakdown but only through a “now or never” dash to a low-carbon economy and society. 

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. Now is the time for countries to look at how they can encourage their brightest minds to come up with alternative solutions to the current crisis, focusing primarily on decreasing use of fossil fuels and increasing spending on, and availability of, renewable solutions. 

The UK government announced in its Spring Statement that VAT on solar panels, insulation and heat pumps will be cut to 0%, which is a good start. However, the IPCC report highlights that this isn’t going far enough. Home storage batteries, such as those made by Moixa and EV chargers from the likes of Chargepoint, should be included in the tax break to encourage uptake of renewable energy solutions across UK households. These are just two Clarity clients we’re proud to represent, that are having a positive and genuine impact on the future of our planet, alongside climate impact investing app Clim8 and TrueInvestor.

Using comms to champion solutions:

Communications has a role to play in influencing change (to policy as well as behaviour). As responsible communicators working in technology, we must champion solutions that are going to help ease the burden of impact on climate change and ensure the right message is getting through to decision makers, influencers, customers and end users. 

Climate change is an emotive subject, with a recent scientific paper on the subject concluding that affect and emotions are major drivers of climate change perceptions and actions. It cites that positive and negative emotional communications can promote sustainable behaviour but data shows that triggering a positive affect feedback loop may induce sustained behaviour change. 

At Clarity, we are working with our clients, who produce innovative products and solutions in cleantech, to create the right communications framework to drive insightful and inspiring thought leadership. We’re working on strategic campaign ideas that give them a powerful voice that can cut through the competitive landscape.  

It is crucial that both the public and private sectors recognise the importance of a green recovery built on the foundation of a renewable energy revolution delivered by solutions already within our grasp. 

If positive emotional communications are the best chance of delivering sustained behavioural change then we need to provide more of a platform for those brands doing something truly inspiring in this sector. 

While Sustainability Week in the UK attracted some attention and is a great initiative, wouldn’t it be amazing if it were every week of the year?


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