Our industry spotlight this week comes with a timely twist, linking to some of the hot button energy, utilities and resources issues on the agenda at COP26 right now. On its fifth day, politicians and business leaders set their sights on energy – a sector that is a key climate change contributor.

Day five of COP26 focussed on what is now seen as essential, just how to transition national grids from carbon-based legacy fuels to a stable one full of green electrons. Essential because the world has found itself in the midst of an energy crisis. Due to a combination of factors, from Covid to geopolitics, electric and gas wholesale prices have exploded to unprecedented levels, causing the death knell for many energy providers in the global energy market and will be the cause of record bills for customers.

Biting the coal dust…

Coal in recent years has become an energy taboo in the west with Britain now only operating three power stations and the U.S. committed to dropping its coal dependency. However, there is still work to be done a global scale. Coal usage is predicted to increase this year by 4.5% with many nations in Asia, especially China, continuing to carry on investing in the fuel.

…hydrogen takes center stage

The buzz at COP26 was all around green hydrogen. The versatile fuel is cost effective, easy to manufacture and to distribute with the right levels of public and private investments and is set to make up 25% of global net zero energy assets by the middle of the century.

And it’s exciting to do our bit for this development by helping one of our clients position a comment on the importance of decarbonization in the North America, including spotlighting how its software has helped one of its customers utilize hydrogen “green steel” production. The manufacturing of green steel is imperative to help cutting emissions in the construction market.

Hydrogen not only offers a new fuel for transport, in conjunction with electric and biofuels, but just as excitingly can offer grid balancing, providing a way to mitigate stresses on power grids during either supply or demand shocks. This is something impossible to implement with a carbon-based grid.

COP26 has shown that coming together to tackle an industry-wide issue, even one as daunting as climate change, is achievable. But businesses also need to act themselves to drive for sustainability, and this will not just benefit the planet, but also the bottom line.

Again, we’re delighted to be doing our bit to spread the good news, placing articles and comment pieces on the value to business of adopting the circular economy model.

A recent IBM report shows 70% of consumers prefer repurposed, reused or recycled products. On the most reductive and stripped back level it allows a company to create a supply chain that breathes sustainability to its core through reusing, recycling and reusing the raw materials that make up their product.

Fewer words, more action – let’s out greenwashing media hype

But beware, companies cannot rely on simply greenwashing – -or as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson put it this week the “blah blah blah” of inaction. Investing in cutting carbon through sustainability measures and not just talking about it is the only way to keep custom with an increasing ecologically aware public, who may seek a rival product or service if not. If you are looking for more pointers, then look no further then our full breakdown in four simple steps written by IBA’s sustainability guru Georgia.

Climate conscious PR in action

As the COP hubbub dies down over the next few months, energy, utilities and resources organizations themselves, including their marketing and communications teams, will need to pick up the mantle to keep up the good work and continue to push the sector towards a sustainable future.

Joshua Ashworth is PR Executive at IBA International.

Leave a comment