Transformation to climate neutrality

Effective communi­cations for the path­way to zero

Achieving climate protection targets determines the political agenda; the trans­formation to green­house gas neutrality is a key driver for making dramatic changes to the way we live and work. Many companies have already begun to tackle the trans­formation of their business models, others are on their way and are developing the relevant strategies and road­maps. This mammoth task requires long-term thinking and action – and is charac­terised by con­sid­erable challenges in terms of communi­cations. Among them are a complex stake­holder en­viron­ment, massive pressure to be transparent and explain new policies, as well as high-octane debates with strong potential for esca­lation and scan­dali­sation, particu­larly in social media. This is frequently compounded by strong dependencies on other players since climate protection targets often cannot be achieved by a single company on its own. In order to success­fully implement a trans­formation to climate neutrality, well-planned, strategic and effective communi­cations are essential – we call it “WINNING GREEN”.

The starting points, external conditions and stake­holder expecta­tions on the path to climate neutrality – the “pathway to zero” – are different for each sector and each company. In addition, businesses are faced with a multitude of un­certainties, for example in terms of financial or techno­logical aspects. And there are also many questions left to be clarified for business leaders and communi­cations managers with regard to communi­cations strategy issues. Among the most important topics are:

POSITIONING: How can I create a strong profile for the company and its manage­ment in the opinion market as well as the political environment – also in relation to other market players or the relevant industry association?

ASPIRATION: What level of ambition am I building and how can I make my contribution to solving a socio-political issue palpable and demonstrate my innovative strength?

NARRATIVE: How can I create a long-term, standardised frame­work for communi­cations on trans­formation?

EXPECTATION MANAGEMENT: How can I organise a dialogue on targets and mile­stones, including potential conflicting targets and areas of tension?

TRANSPARENCY: How do I present the individual stages of implementation and hone my sustainability profile?

Over the next few years, communications will be a key driver for success on the pathway to climate neutrality for individual businesses as well as entire sectors. A communications strategy that consistently measures the company strategy with all its targets as well as challenges on the way to implementation against the socio-political reality and the different expectations of the relevant target groups, creates competitive advantages.

ACCEPTANCE: Open, target-oriented dialogue about objectives and the imple­men­tation path creates good will from politicians and fosters under­standing and appreciation from society – in this way companies safe­guard their licence to operate and create room to manoeuvre.

PROOF: A sustainability profile under­pinned by proof points protects against accusations of green­washing and creates trust – in this way companies also open up new financing potential from green invest­ments on the capital market.

ACTIVATION: Well-planned communications and targeted change manage­ment get managers and employees involved in shaping the trans­formation and drive the cultural change that is often needed within the companies; away from traditional engineering thinking towards a mindset that is open to new technologies and driven by sus­tain­ability – in this way companies bolster their ability to reinvent them­selves and their innovative strength.

ATTRACTIVITY: Strong socio-political credibility and a clear road­map with exciting, future-oriented and inter­national projects attract young talents to get on board and embark on the journey to a climate neutral future – this enhances companies’ repu­tations as employer brands.

Deekeling Arndt/AMO (DAA) has been supporting the trans­formation of companies and entire sectors in times of radical social and techno­logical change for many years – in terms of their positioning and shaping the dialogue in the political and pre-political spaces, among opinion leaders and on the capital market as well as in addressing and in­volving managers, employees and co-determination bodies. We have extensive experience in advising and supporting companies of all sizes and from different sectors, including energy, chemical, steel, automotive, environ­mental technology and transport, with their communi­cations strategies.

Photo: iStock.com/kirisa99

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