As we approach CHARGE Europe (17-18 October), we’ve been asking our top speakers and partners to reveal their approach to branding in energy. In this article, we speak to Caroline Kamerbeek, Vice President Marketing, Communications & Public Affairs for Energy Systems at DNV.
The interviewers are Friðrik Larsen, Founder and Owner of CHARGE and Natalie Bacon, Content Director at CHARGE.
What key themes do you see from your yearly Energy Transition Outlook?
Our main finding is that we are not on track towards the Paris goals: emissions remain at record levels and we are heading towards a 2.2C global warming by the end of the century. Very alarming. The positive news is that the technologies are there, renewable energy and electrification will continue to grow with high speed. Current barriers for acceleration are regulations, public resistance, and the complexity of the system change.
In your view, can professionals in marketing, communications and public affairs (communications people) make a difference to the speed of the energy transition?
Yes, absolutely, looking at the main barriers like regulations, resistance, and complexity, these are all areas where our profession can make a huge difference. Marketing can help to make energy more attractive, humanizing energy; communications can help to ‘decomplex’ energy and explain in easy language how things work and public affairs is crucial to demystify fake news and help government officials understand the complexity and links between the various parts of the energy system.
What works well in communicating the energy transition to consumers?
We should move the focus from ‘creating anxiety’ to ‘making energy sexy’: show energy is an attractive way of improving people’s lives. Emphasizing the benefits for people: control of your own energy, clean air, costs of clean energy versus the effects of fossil fuels.
What does a game changer for communication look like?
Those who dare to step up and tell the truth to leaders. Confront your CEO or Minister with trends in society and advice on what governments and companies should do to advance the transition. A game changer continuously holds a mirror in front of our leaders and dares to develop creative solutions to address resistance and complexity.
How can the Charge audience get involved? Can they also be game changers?
Charge is an excellent platform for marketing, corporate communications and strategists to share best practices and build bridges between companies and energy industries. Bringing our cases forward and discussing together the main challenges in our profession is already a major step forward. The only challenge is that we need to fly to Iceland and cannot drive by electric car…hopefully we can solve that soon!