Your brand is on fire

From dropping cryptocurrency to pushing for green media, TBWA\RAAD's Rafael Lavor gives us 6 things we can do right now to make a difference on climate change

“Our house is on fire”, famously said Greta Thunberg in her speech at the World Economic Forum in 2019.

She is right. No more sugar coating. No more debating hard scientific data. No more questioning reliable conclusions. No more lingering on semantics about “Global Warming” or “Climate Change”.

In the current state of affairs, life on earth for humans will become unbearable by 2080. Our daughters and sons might inherit The Inhabitable Earth — the title from David Wallace-Wells’ illuminating book about the frightening near-future being cooked by an unhinged climate crisis.

Let me walk you through a panic attack inducing paragraph. We are already feeling and dealing with the severe climatic unbalances: Floods. Blazes. Deforestation. Water-related conflicts. Increasingly unbreathable air. Disrupted crops. Economic crisis. Rising hunger levels. Mass migration. New plagues. New pandemics. Yes, the same environmental practices that enabled the release of Covid into the world also add to climate instability.

Some big players got the message. Alphabet, Beyond Meat, HP, Nike, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, GM, Volkswagen, Tesla, P&G, Apple, AB Inbev, Hasbro. Policies in place, global initiatives, transparent results. Good. We need more. From you. From everyone. Just like those big brands, if you want to make a difference, assume your brand is also on fire.

Here are six things you could arguably adopt across marketing activities — and also in everyday life situations. Of course, some of those measures might have different effects and scale implications depending on the nature of your business. Nonetheless, that’s directly linked to the size of your own responsibility in fighting climate change.

Push for green media

Did you know that TikTok’s carbon footprint is more than twice higher than Instagram’s and five times higher than YouTube’s? Do you know how other media channels and partners rank in terms of carbon footprint? Or even agencies? Turn this into a priority in procurement assessments. Take carbon emission levels into account when creating, planning and executing campaigns. The whole comms system must be accountable and, eventually, transformed.

Drop out of the cryptocurrency frenzy

Everyone is hyped about the easy-money promises around NFTs and cryptocurrencies. However, these blockchain-based technologies take a heavy toll. As of now, the carbon footprint of Bitcoin alone, world’s current largest cryptocurrency, is equivalent to that of New Zealand, with both emitting nearly 37 megatons of carbon dioxide every year. Just stop fooling around with digital currencies. If the shady and unregulated schemes around cryptocurrencies aren’t already making you wary enough, maybe your environmental conscience should.

Cut beef anywhere you can

Beef is by far the biggest offender, generating 60 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of meat produced. Your business doesn’t need to be in the food industry to take action regarding beef reduction. Cut it from your lunch. From your kitchen. Formalize ‘no beef monday’ in your workplace. Campaign internally and externally about it. While you’re at it, maybe find tastier options for tomatoes and increase your consumption of eggs and nuts.

Add to the green clutter

Be shamelessly opportunistic when it comes to campaigns about climate change. Take every chance. Be cliché or innovative, loud or smart, or both. Be repetitive. Need dates? Global Recycling Day. Earth Day. Arbor Day. International Day of Forests. World Biodiversity Day. World Environment Day. World Rainforest Day. Plastic Free July. Zero Emissions Day. Energy Efficiency Day. There’s even the International Day of Climate Action. The point here is to force everyone, anyday, in every corner to be knowledgeable about climate change.

Ostracize negationists

Let go of people that are intentionally against human progress, especially and most importantly in higher ranks. There’s no more room for people who purposefully deny or downplay climate change causes and consequences. You may do that within your company, throughout partners, and across your social media channels as well. Don’t engage with negationists, don’t share their nonsense, don’t leverage their audience, don’t indulge them. And definitely don’t ever hire celebrities and influencers that deny scientific facts. Keep them in the dark.

Make carbon footprint visible

Here is a freebie good and straightforward brief to work on: carbon emissions are the enemy, but they are invisible. How can your brand make it visible? Problem with creating awareness around climate change is that people can’t really catch it. Although its consequences are wrecking the planet, It’s not tangible enough. The villain is a particle. A threat that is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. There must be many creative ways with which we can show people the real face — and the scale — of our true enemy: CO2 emissions.

Only six. But there are many more. Support and use green energy. Move to more energy-efficient offices. Incentivize public transport and bicycles. Cut plastics. Track your ESG investments. Keep a tab on your company’s carbon footprint. Forget rockets, Mars missions, and lunar vacation. Be here. Act on Earth. Act on your market segment. Every company, brand and person can do much to help.

To make a difference now, help fight climate change, in any shape or form. Your brand’s legacy must be Earth’s climate stability. For us, there’s no higher priority than preserving the planet’s ability to sustain human life.

Featured image: Tumisu / Pixabay

Rafael Lavor

Rafael joined TBWA\RAAD in January 2022, to lead the agency’s planning department.As a strategist and planner, Rafael learned and thrived in agencies such as AlmapBBDO, JWT, McCann and CPB+, having worked for Ford, GM, Volkswagen, Embraer, Nokia, Mastercard, Diageo, Amazon, Deezer, Uber, Stella Artois and Activision. Under his lead, some of those brands were awarded in Effie Brazil and Effie LATAM.He holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Communications in University of São Paulo, a postgraduate degree in Urban Economics & Public Management at PUC-SP (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo), in User Experience & Interaction Design at IED-SP (Istituto Europeo di Design - São Paulo), and is just wrapping up the Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous' History, Culture and Literature program at Unicesumar-SP.Rafael has a compulsion for books, comics, Spider-Man, boxing, Adidas clothes, weird museums, Radiohead, and music festivals. But mostly books.

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