W7Worldwide's crisis communications division developed a ‘7 Communications Steps to Fight Climate Change’ guide to help business leaders and organizations future-proof and communicate their sustainability strategy.
Climate change is now a communications challenge if we are to achieve the shift that is required from governments, corporations, and citizens to each play their role in working towards a net-zero future. It has been confirmed that COP27 will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022 and that the UAE will host the COP28 International Climate Conference in 2023. Playing host for the next two International Climate Conferences is significant for the Middle East as it is the world’s hottest, driest, and most water-scarce region. It presents the opportunity to raise awareness of critical issues such as climate adaption and help the world navigate through the energy transition. In the next few years, the Middle East may prove to be a vital staging ground for the global battle against climate change.
“Business leaders in the region have big decisions to make on their organization’s role on climate change. The demand for climate change counsel from communications practitioners is rising with the need to be able to clearly communicate the importance of new sustainability goals and inspire stakeholders and customers to follow suit,” says Abdulrahman Inayat, Co-Founder, and Director of W7Worldwide. “The urgent need to address climate change is now part of the COVID-19 recovery narrative and companies that do not have a strategy in place that supports a sustainable future will be left behind,” added Inayat.
W7Worldwide has produced a guide with ‘7 Post COP26 Communications Strategies to Build Back Sustainably from COVID-19’ to help business leaders and organizations future-proof their sustainability strategy. The report advises that communicators need to educate themselves on the goals that underpin COP, as these will start to become more specifically aligned to the communications strategy of many companies and sectors. COP26 decisively set the new sustainability agenda, and this respectively will shape communications strategy and output.
It’s reported that 67% of the public believe businesses should lead on tackling climate change, so businesses must act. Companies with relevant and impactful sustainability strategies will attract customers and public support. More and more citizens recognize that some crises are too big to solve alone. Brands can show that, like COVID-19, tackling the climate crisis needs everyone’s efforts as part of their social responsibility and commitment to the planet.
Now is the time for brands and organizations to articulate and tell their sustainability story. The sustainability story must be one of the key pillars of the corporate communications plan to show what it means to the business. Organizations are looking to engage more people, and to make sustainability accessible and understandable for everyone, they need to work closely with the media to ensure their message lands. Millions of people know that climate action is urgent. To convince others, communicators need to drop the jargon and produce more relatable content. They also need to provide a compelling call to action that is hard to argue against and will bring in social and environmental benefits.
Climate anxiety is thought to be at an all-time high - particularly among young people. There is a fine balance between communicating the gravity of the situation and fuelling fear. It is important therefore to sell the positive of sustainability, not the negative and talk about the solutions a business brings. In sharing more and more stories about achievements and challenges, sustainability will become a vibrant part of an organization’s culture and strategy.