The idea of basing sustainability campaigns on comparative data – the amount of fuel not used, or C02 not released into the environment – was unheard of prior to 2009. The first one was connected with America’s introduction to paperless banking. The PayItGreen campaign revolved around a video narrated by voice actors playing a perky 50+ year-old female professional and a young man. The central message was statistical. Most US households could save 7 pounds of paper, 4.5 gallons of gas and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 171 pounds a year by paying their bills electronically. The campaign’s creator, Robert Lundahl, explained how comparative campaigns changed sustainability communications.
The transition to renewable energy is coming faster than most people realize. The technological advances that make it the adoption of larger amounts of intermittent energy possible are also needed to reinvigorate North America’s aging grid. Though there is still much resistance from corporations and governments with vested interests, the future of the fossil fuel sector lies in finding ways to fit into a more environmentally sensitive economy. The struggle to avoid Climate Change is not over. There are still many battles ahead, but the outcome has been decided. The next big issue is social license.