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27.10.2022 By Sarina Lavon, Junior Associate

Reflection and Takeaways from Climate Week 2022 and “Getting It Done.”

Image of one woman and three men sitting in chairs and talking to a non-pictured audience. Woman is holding microphone and talking while others in the photo are listening.

Companies are increasingly announcing goals to help curb climate change. However, public, and private scrutiny of “greenwashing” efforts have meant that the business community is being held to higher standards and must show real, actionable progress against their stated ambitions.

This year’s Climate Week NYC event struck a similar note. Known as one of the must-attend climate forums of the year, Climate Week runs concurrent to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and features keynotes, panel discussions and roundtables, and intimate networking events on a wide variety of topics including sustainable food, environmental justice, policy, and transportation. “Getting It Done” was the theme of the 2022 event – a not so subtle nod to the fact that companies must be accountable to delivering on their promises.

This year, Current Global supported one of our clients as they attended their first Climate Week event. This global company has set an ambitious goal of carbon-neutrality by 2040 and has developed a roadmap for its sustainability journey that started in 2021. As first timers, we focused our efforts on a category-specific sponsorship to raise visibility of the brand and its environmental ambitions, in addition to arranging meetups with our executive sponsor and media and other influential parties. This approach allowed us to discuss our client’s specific goals and tangible actions in a curated environment.

As we consider how companies can engage in this important forum, we’ve outlined our top takeaways to make an impact at future Climate Week events.

  • Climate Week is a must attend event for companies with a climate agenda. Given the caliber of presenters and participants, Climate Week is a value forum for companies to share insights into climate work and progress against stated goals. Clients must clearly define their environmental story, climate ambitions, and accompanying proof points, which should then permeate all communications throughout the event – both during on-the-ground interactions, as well as any external or internal communications activities by the company.
  • Earning media coverage can be difficult. With reporters and media outlets scrambling to hear different speakers and attend panel discussions, it can be challenging to garner attention for your company’s efforts (or even simply schedule background briefings). To breakthrough, companies that seek to earn media coverage must be ready to share innovative partnerships, significant financial investments, or measurable progress against goals.
  • Don’t skip the networking sessions. There are many on-the-ground gatherings (lunches, dinners, networking events, etc.) that are key for collaboration. These gatherings allow thought leaders from different organizations and industries to engage in intimate conversations and discuss novel approaches to combatting climate change.
  • Consider hosting your own Climate Week event. Given how much takes place during Climate Week, companies may find success in hosting their own adjacent events such as salon dinners or networking events alongside media outlets or other partner organizations. Hosting curated events can help raise visibility for your company’s efforts and further your climate agenda in a more intimate and controlled setting.
  • Sponsorships are a great way to further promote your brand. Companies should consider sponsoring portions of the Climate Week event to forge a stronger association with the climate agenda.

With Climate Week 2022 behind us, there are numerous opportunities for companies to continue to have a voice in this conversation – from media-sponsored events to those organized by NGOs. As one example, the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) will convene in Egypt (November 6-18) for the largest annual gathering on climate action, so we can expect even more dialogue around this critical topic.

 

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