How do we ‘market’ climate action?

When a company wants to sell a product market research is conducted to understand consumer behaviours and attitudes. Then marketeers or advertising agencies create a strategy and communications campaign that will suit the segment of consumers targeted which often resonates with them on different levels. Generally the product has to fit society’s needs at the time. But on the whole there is a product to sell.

Why has the climate change ‘campaign’ not been working? 

As we have thought about this we concluded a few parts: in the messaging people were told the outcome of the what they’d get, “saving the planet”, if they stopped doing certain things but not what they were buying or getting or what the transaction was. It’s not tangible to most people so in marketing terms you are selling a vision without a product.

And there previously was minimal marketing budget to ‘sell’ climate change.

What is the climate action ‘product’ we can sell?

Through developing our work we came to realise we are working on the energy transition, and working on switching global use of energy to green and clean options. Our product is energy and circular solutions. As you can see from this pie chart we need to switch a huge amount of energy across our living, travelling and eating habits.


We posted the above chart recently which got many likes on social and was posted by the International Energy Agency. Clarity in communication is key to knowing what we need to do to solve climate change, as companies and as individuals.

Even 3-4 years ago there wasn’t much ‘budget’ for climate communication. More recently we’ve seen that companies are promoting sustainable products, so it means awareness has been raised, and so has the marketing budget and then in turn the amount of customers buying the green products.

Greta used marketing to communicate her message. She used personal protest and then social media and it has been heard and seen. Greta has a mission rather than a product and has become a green influencer. As she turns her mission into a call-to-action which requires consumers to make a transaction then she will see a return on investment (her time), the return being a change in consumer behaviour i.e. switch to green energy and a reduction of carbon use per person.

FGA are a combination of advertising, digital and sustainability professionals working with our clients on reporting of carbon, energy planning, communications and innovation to ensure companies are delivering the right messaging and fit-for-market, sustainable products so we can live well and become more sustainable consumers (/people!).

But as Ford said “if you had asked our customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse“. Creativity and understanding our consumers and the leaps we can make is key. We are working with early adopters innovators in sport and business travel .If you would like to discuss your strategy, planning and product innovation with our team then get in touch with sarah@flygreenalliance.org

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