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Climate Change and how marketers can contribute to helping stop the crisis

Climate Change and how marketers can contribute to helping stop the crisis

In the past decade, it has become increasingly popular for brands and marketers alike to form alliances towards socio-political causes. “Activism” has become a great part of our society as young people, like Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg take to world stages and demand that their grievances be heard.

As more young people try to navigate their futures and protect themselves from the social ills we face today, it has become increasingly difficult for brands to market their products and services in the same way it did in years before. What’s more important than marketing itself, is that brands do not co-opt movements, but rather, become allies of the people. As consumers become increasingly socially-conscious (you can read more about it here), brands need to start shifting how they source, manufacture, produce and sell their products.

Jacinta Austin writes, “When brands match activist messaging, purpose, and values with prosocial corporate practice, they engage in what is being called brand activism. This form of marketing has the opportunity to create the potential for social change and the largest gains in brand equity.

What does this mean for marketers? Can the industry shift with sincerity?

This means that marketers really should get on board – what affects the consumer, affects the marketer too, because let’s face it: we’re all consumers in some way. Shifting with sincerity on the other hand, can be troublesome which is why many academics have taken to writing about issues like “pink-washing*” or “green-washing**”. But there is room for growth and great space for marketers to establish honest grounds for a cause.

*Pink-washing is the practice of a state or company presenting itself as gay-friendly and progressive, in order to downplay their negative behavior.

**Green-washing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound.

For many consumers, how a brand portrays itself, the way it manages its social and public relations and who it chooses to endorse indicates where the brand’s loyalty lays (a major “uno-reverse***” if you will between consumer and brand).

***Uno reverse – A card used in the game uno. Also used in arguments to counter the insult back at the speaker. The uno reverse is even more powerful than ‘no u’. (urbandictionery.com)

The Harvard Business Review writes that there are ways in which marketers can get behind consumers and help to establish strong brand alliances to social issues. With mounting pressures from consumers and corporates alike, brand managers and marketing gurus can really disrupt the ways in which industries have thrived for centuries before, despite how harmful it could be to the environment. In the face of climate change, it has become even more crucial that governments adopt policies to prevent the inevitable difficulties the issue of climate change presents. We have already seen how Big Tech has moved towards more sustainable modes of production and seeking ways to function without harming the environment (read more about that here), so let’s ask – “How can marketers do the same?”

How can marketers make the difference

How can marketers make the difference?

There is no doubt that climate change outcomes will have a profound impact on many different companies in the future, but marketing professionals may not be familiar with the steps they can take to combat it.

We’ve broken it down for you and provided a few tips that can be put in place by all businesses in the fight against global warming – as outlined by the You Matter organisation:

1. Raise awareness among employees, clients and other stakeholders

An excellent idea for promoting sustainability issues is to organise contests, hackathons, and awareness campaigns in-house. Create something original, distinctive, powerful, and that keeps you top of mind when partnering with outside organisations. In this way, you’ll put your company or yourself on the map for other green-thinking companies looking to join forces for future work.

2. Choose sustainable suppliers

Ethically sourcing suppliers can be extremely difficult but choosing to actively find and work with sustainable suppliers, especially small local businesses, should be high on the list of how we source goods. As marketers, while we do not always choose suppliers for brands, we do choose how we produce, manage and put goods and services out into the world. Choosing to do so with sustainability in mind (like using Google Drive instead of printing out 100 sheets of paper), can really make the difference.

Choose sustainable suppliers

3. Mobilise for the climate change challenge

Whether we like it or not, we have long passed the time of laying low as an industry. Choosing to be political or “getting political” is an important aspect of marketing today. Whatever cause it may be, whether through donations, organising or even simply providing information or being openly in solidarity with a cause, it is increasingly important that marketers start pushing towards climate change activism through the brands they manage. In fact, there are so many tactical days in the calendar to help your brands establish a firm sense of solidarity – think World Earth Day and Earth Hour as an example.

Mobilise for the climate change challenge

In conclusion, climate change is happening rapidly and while we can’t save the world by ourselves, contributing to positive change should be a non-negotiable industry-standard globally. Marketers hold a great responsibility to the public consumer and the brands they manage. Making a conscious effort to combat climate change whether in office or through your brands’ image, will make a bigger difference than you know.

Covid-19’s impact on supply networks is slowing down the fight against climate change

Solar Energy


covid-19Solar energy developers around the world are slowed down by a spike in the costs of materials, labour and transporting as the world economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic (read more about that here). . An Economic Times India article suggests the zero-emissions solar energy market is showing slower growth at a time when world governments are ramping up their efforts against climate change, and marks a reversal to growth after a decade of lowering prices. One of the greatest challenges to solar energy manufacturers is the soaring cost of steel, which has risen three times in the past year, not to mention the unsteady cost of transportation and the uncertainty of when materials will become available for manufacturing to continue. The pandemic has caused inflation to occur at a staggering rate and many industries are struggling to keep up.

What does this mean for climate change

An online poll by Power Technology readers showed that 54.1% believe a pandemic induced recession could hurt renewable energy development, which in turn, puts us further behind in addressing the climate crisis. With the Covid-19 outbreak hitting the global supply chain and single companies alike, renewable energy growth is expected to slow, with projects consistently being delayed or cancelled as a result. The consequence of this is globally the fight against climate change as per the Paris Agreement, will be put on hold for an extended period of time. While the pandemic has forced us to slow down, the rate of climate change has not. A Time article explains that “Every day, due to rising water levels, some part of the world must evacuate to higher ground.”


Climate Change

Demand for solar energy

The demand for solar energy is higher now than ever before. More countries are facing longer, hotter summers and the energy source itself can easily be distributed and rerouted into national electricity lines as Australia has already done. The booming demand for solar energy is however only as in demand as it is available and affordable. With the rising costs of solar energy materials and installations, more and more companies and individuals alike could turn it away for a longer period of time than what the earth can afford. Without renewable energy sources like solar energy, the world depends heavily on non-renewable sources like oil and coal. If we don’t act now, Octopus Energy predicts that global oil deposits will deplete by 2052 and coal and natural gasses are expected to last only until 2060 (read more here).


Global warming, pandemic

How the pandemic has affected global warming and in turn, slowed down supply chains

Global logistics industry leaders, EY, conducted a survey on the impact of Covid-19 on the industry and its effects on the job market. The report comes as no surprise that only 2% of companies surveyed stated they were fully prepared for the pandemic. 72% of those affected reported experiencing serious disruptions, while 17% reported significant disruptions (55% reported mostly negative effects). The graph provided by EY illustrates this finding.

Pandemic Chart

Although many employees were requested to work remotely, others – especially in factory settings – had to make new arrangements to ensure physical distancing and were required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). High-tech industries and industrial products manufacturers are investing heavily in technology to limit employee exposure to COVID-19.  Additionally, 47% of all companies reported workforce disruptions due to the pandemic. These are just a few examples of changes affecting supply chains across various sectors. Thus it’s unsurprising that more logistics companies are looking to further empower their labourers through reskilling to help the workforce readjust to the new normal the pandemic has forced the industry into. A Price Waterhouse and Cooper report from April 2020 suggests that there has been a global decline in transport activity and this in itself has forced many workers in the supply chain to be jobless for months on end due to lockdowns. However, in 2021 it is evident that the demand for at-home deliveries has increased.


The Covid 19 pandemic has put immense strain on the world’s resources. Solar energy production has not been spared. We are already in a race against time to reverse global warming. We must seek ways to shorten supply chains by sourcing locally available materials to create renewable energy sources that are  sustainable and more robust against something as unpredictable as a global pandemic. Who knows when the next one could hit.