APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
BICEP, a project of Ceres, is a coalition of 21 consumer-facing brands, including several Fortune 500 companies, united in support of federal climate and energy policy. Ceres aims to augment BICEP's success by reinvigorating the conversation around the need for national energy and climate policy. Throughout the fall of 2011, Ceres, in partnership with BICEP companies and an advertising firm, will organize a series of dialogues with senior executives to co-create a messaging platform that will allow BICEP companies to mobilize their consumer and employee base to change the national conversation about the need for progressive climate and energy policy. The final product will be a tool that can be adapted by various companies to be used in varying communications medium and marketed to multiple audiences.
Once created, the messaging platform will be launched in early 2012, with initial roll-out being implemented through the BICEP companies' social media networks. The platform - and its implementation -- will be built around BICEP and its members' existing on-the-ground work with legislators, but if successful should also have broader utilization throughout the Ceres network of forward-thinking utilities, leading investors, venture capitalists, and clean energy companies in on-going dialogues with policymakers. Business leaders from across the Ceres network will be able to demonstrate to policymakers that the need for climate and energy policy is critical to their economic viability and therefore they are educating their consumers about the issue and building public support for action.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
The BICEP messaging platform will be finalized in the fall 2011. Over the course of the coming months, the advertising firm will conduct extensive background research on previous messaging projects that will inform the creation of BICEP's messaging platform. BICEP companies will be extensively involved in the development of the core organizing principle around which the platform will be built.
The platform will be launched in early 2012 with additional implementation through 2013. Additional uptake is anticipated through 2013 in order to maximize the impact on the political discourse during both the 2012 election and the start of the next Congress.
For years, Ceres has been working with companies and investors to integrate sustainability into capital markets by demonstrating the clear value proposition in incorporating sustainability into the fiber of the global economic and social systems. It is clear, however, that in order to achieve full integration the right rules and regulations must be in place to unlock the investments and innovation necessary to fully transition to a sustainable economy. In the past, efforts to build public support for energy and climate policy have failed because the issue was not sufficiently broadened to aggregate the public demand needed to truly move policymakers towards action. This project aims to inform the American consumer with the ultimate goal of building a foundation of public demand that is essential for meaningful policy action.
Research suggests the available information on climate change and energy is abstract, inaccessible and incomprehensible to the average person. Yet a recent poll by Yale University reveals that 30 million Americans are 'alarmed' by global warming and another 90 million are 'concerned.' This huge audience that could be engaged in problem-solving and legislative action is staggeringly unaware of how their individual positions could actually influence policy makers. They may also be unaware of the value proposition, i.e., the economic opportunities embedded in taking aggressive federal action now.
Ceres works with leading companies, investors, public interest groups, policymakers and other economic players to advance sustainable solutions that will reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants, protect vital natural resources like water supplies, ensure safe and just working conditions for employees and reduce reliance on fossil fuels while transitioning to a clean energy economy. BICEP, a project of Ceres, is an advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation that will enable a rapid transition to a low-carbon, 21st century economy that will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while stabilizing the planet's fragile climate. The BICEP consumer brands are uniquely positioned to advance the cultural shift needed to support urgent climate policy action. Indeed, many of their names are synonymous with environmental responsibility and sustainable innovation. As leadership companies, they are able to communicate with both consumers and employees from a position of trust and credibility at a time when both are lacking from the public discourse.
Despite their positioning and reach, BICEP members lack the compelling message platform necessary to reach the American public on the topic of how climate change and energy policy will boost the US economy, create jobs and most importantly, avert a looming planetary crisis. To solve this problem, Ceres and its partners through BICEP seek to develop a communications platform that will serve as the foundation for an 18- to 24-month campaign designed to change the public conversation about the urgent need for policymakers to take action on climate and energy policies - shifting it from one that is fear-laden, and based on false economic assumptions to one that is inspirational, opportunity-focused and comprehensible to all Americans. Such a platform will create a compelling narrative that educates consumers on the urgent need to get the rules right at the federal level and empowers them to call on their legislators to take action.
SEEKING: Financial Resources, Implementing Partners, Media/Marketing Opportunities
Ceres is seeking additional companies who would like to adopt the messaging platform to communicate to their consumers and employees. Ceres is also seeking partners who are interested in investing financially in this effort.