Climate Action - it's a good thing
So let's promote it
Five movement-based campaigns to promote climate action and climate solutions by 2020.
Here's two radical ideas about how to solve climate change:
- Promote the positive benefits.
Show how climate action can save us money, improve our quality of life, and support our communities.
- Work together.
Collaborate to promote climate solutions, such as saving energy, safe cycling, great food, and complete communities.
They may seem obvious, and not all that radical, but the fact is that we currently have no major collaborative co-marketing campaigns for climate action. Yes, there are government advertising campaigns, NGO lobbying campaigns, and business marketing campaigns, but we have yet to combine our efforts to promote a positive vision for Canada, empower Canadians to act on climate change in their own homes and communities, or promote the best solutions.
Community-based social marketing has been around for some time now - campaigns designed to change our attitudes and behaviours on issues like smoking, drinking and driving, health and fitness, and climate change. A movement-campaign challenges us to go a step further in two key areas:
- collaboration - to have multiple organizations (large through small and across all sectors) as active participants in the campaign
- adaptability - to allow for campaign material to be "adapted and adopted" to reflect the needs and opportunities of different audiences
The result is a campaign with a clear focus on outcomes and on building a strong and diverse movement.
Climate action is about transitioning to a better future - low carbon with a high quality of life. We need to engage and empower Canadians to be part of this transition; to help them find solutions that make sense for their families and communities. If ever there was a time to think differently, this is it.
Progress to Date
So how are we doing so far?
Marketing climate action is closely tied to individual groups, governments, or companies. There have been a number of collaborative campaigns aimed at promoting government action, but no collaborative, movement-based promotional campaigns for climate action or individual solutions.
The two campaigns highlighted below have both been developed by Climate Action Canada and are available to be further developed, adapted, and used across Canada.
Number of climate action campaigns across Canada as of December 2017:
The Climate Arrow
Think of it as the climate action equivalent of the 3Rs logo. The design is free to adapt and use to denote a commitment to climate action, just as the 3Rs logo is used to show a commitment to recycling.
Climate Action for Businesses
Imagine every store and business across Canada with a window sign and/or a web page highlighting their commitment to climate action. Each business is unique, but we can focus on recognizing five key categories of leadership:
- internal actions (energy conservation and other green actions)
- products and services (helping customers take action)
- community support (supporting climate action in the community)
- trail blazing (innovation and leadership)
- carbon neutral (achieving net zero emissions)
The campaign is particularly well-suited for supporting community action (see Cool Communities) where a Business Improvement Area or Chamber of Commerce is an active member of a community network and supports a community climate action plan.
The campaign can also be adapted for municipal engagement campaigns to connect consumers with the products and services that support climate action.
Other Possible Climate Campaigns
How do we promote climate solutions and connect people with the help they need? Climate campaigns bring together NGOs, businesses and governments to co-market their services locally, regionally, or nationally.
Here's ten ideas:
- Climate Ready (extreme weather readiness at home and in our communities)
- Save Energy (energy conservation at home and in the community)
- Green Power (renewable power for homes and businesses, and community power projects)
- Drive Less (transportation alternatives including e-vehicles, efficiency, car-sharing, transit, cycling and walking)
- Safe Cycling (neighbourhood safety, commuter cycling, and cycle tourism)
- Great Food (local food, community gardens, farmers' markets, community kitchens, and a vegetarian diet)
- Mind over Matter (arts and culture, and quality over quantity)
- Get Out (fitness, sports and recreation, and play)
- At Home with Nature (natural gardens, tree planting, and greenspaces)
- Complete Communities (community design and planning for the future)
A key step in developing a collaborative campaign is to have a strong network of participating organizations. For more information on the role of "climate circles" in a national engagement strategy, see our challenge paper, Engage.