Communicating your renewable energy strategy to employees

This year the Climate Group and RE-Source have been hosting the Communicators of Change Taskforce. The taskforce is a new group for highly respected senior communications professionals committed to promoting the benefits of renewables.

It is an opportunity for peer-learning and provides a safe space for leaders to share challenges and ideas for continuous improvement. Members of the taskforce include Asahi Europe and International, Bosch, Chanel, Decathlon, Nestlé, Nissan and Sanofi. In this blog series, we will be sharing the insights and learnings from the taskforce.
For more information on the taskforce please contact Aleksandra Klassen at [email protected].

The taskforce agreed that communicating your renewable energy strategy starts at home. Put simply, start with your employees. Here are some taskforce insights on how best to do this.

1.      Use renewables to demonstrate progress & test ideas

For wider sustainability and low carbon commitments, renewables are a tangible way to demonstrate progress to your employees to earn their trust and buy-in. It is also a great way to test out messaging and content before sharing externally. Sanofi, the global pharmaceutical company, launched an internal competition via their employee
network to source and test ideas to make their sites and activities more sustainable. The best ideas were then launched as pilot projects with the aim of rolling them out globally.

2.      Be creative with your comms

Companies in the taskforce are being creative and trying out lots of different communications channels. For example, Nestlé launched their new strategy to employees using a TEDx style format, Nissan developed a new app to drive employee ambassadorship and Sanofi developed their own Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for staff. There are so many different touchpoints to engage employees on renewable energy, the important thing is working out what will work for your employees and business.

3.      Walk your talk

Employees can be sceptical and are quick to see disconnects in their employer’s behaviour. For example, talking about renewables while still using plastic bottles does not encourage employees to buy into your vision. Be consistent and transparent in your communications about the challenges you’re facing and the order in which you’re choosing to tackle them is key.

Asahi Europe and International have done this by creating a new Yammer channel focused on sustainability which is open to all employees. They are using this as a place to share what they want to achieve and why as well as take questions from employees and listen to their ideas on how they could achieve more.

4.      Carefully navigate technicalities

There are lots of technicalities surrounding renewables that are hard to communicate. Targets could be misunderstood and it’s easy to get mixed up in jargon and acronyms which quickly lose their meaning. Companies need to strike the balance between ensuring the message is simple and easily understood but is accurate.

Next up the Communicators of Change Taskforce will be looking at how best to communicate your renewable energy strategy with customers. 

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