Net Zero 2023 Calendar

Net Zero 2023 Calendar

Cavendish Advocacy’s Energy & Green Growth team have taken a look at what policies we can expect to see in 2023 across the net zero space.

Our specialist team has created an easily-downloadable calendar for the year, so you can see what announcements are coming and when. Our Net Zero 2023 Calendar is available to download below.

The team will keep it updated throughout the year, and we will let you know when an updated version is available.

To learn more about the year ahead for Net Zero policy or to discuss what it might mean for you and your business, please get in touch with our Head of Energy & Green Growth, Tom Bradley, by emailing here.

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Get in the fast lane to PR success with simple messaging…

Get in the fast lane to PR success with simple messaging…

I have a confession to make. I know we are only at the beginning of February, but car adverts don’t really do it for me. Maybe it’s because I’m only interested in getting from A to B rather than getting excited over the latest model to hit the market, or perhaps it’s because they always seem to pop up right in the middle of a TV programme I’m enjoying.

But here’s the thing, car maker Hyundai have annoyingly caught my attention with their latest advert for the UK.

Rather than zooming in with the usual format for car advertising campaigns featuring a shiny new car gliding through some remote road you have never heard of, the South Korean company have opted for an injection of humour and a ‘did you know?’ moment.

It turns out that for all these years, us Brits have wrongly been pronouncing Hyundai as ‘Hy-un-dai’. The 30-second clip follows various people trying in vain to search for the name of the car maker using the voice assistant on their mobile phone. Rather than sending them to their nearest Hyundai dealership, their mispronunciation leads them to all manner of wonderful places instead, such as the High ‘N’ Dye Hair Salon, Haiwean Tie and Highland Eye.

Hyundai say they wanted to ‘inject a little humour’ to encourage more people to learn about the company. Of course, they are also trying to lure you in to find out about their latest model, but the sell is achieved in a much more subtle and appealing manner.

 

Thinking out of the box

So, for me, it’s a winning formula that shows those behind the marketing campaign have put some serious time and effort into thinking out the box about how best to convey their key messaging in a fun and engaging way.

Sounds simple, right? Well, you would be surprised by how many blue-chip brands fail to hit the mark despite having marketing budgets stretching beyond seven figures. Just a few weeks ago, Sainsbury’s was forced to withdraw a clothing advert, as it was perceived to ignore women’s safety by encouraging them to walk in the dark.

Thinking about your key messages and how you want to communicate them to your audience is vital in setting the tone on how you want the media and wider public to view your company or organisation.

Try and concentrate on just ONE key message (usually no more than 20 words and not too complex or full of jargon) that gives you a quotable soundbite, as most people won’t remember more than one major point.

Surprise factor

Why does your story matter and do you have a key fact, or finding, that you want your audience to go away with? Hyundai provided the viewer with a surprise fact about the company, using humour and cleverly tapping into the ‘human interest’ factor.

The advert says: “If you thought you knew our cars and how to say our name, maybe it’s time to think again.” Not an overt sales pitch but a friendly arm around the shoulder, bringing Hyundai’s message to life and including a call to action to go and find out more about the brand and its products.

As the saying goes, old habits die hard. But Hyundai have started a fun conversation that will get people talking about them in a positive way. And, just in case I forget, the correct pronunciation is Hyundai, like Sunday.

At Cavendish Advocacy, we have an award-winning PR and Media Relations team based across the UK, adept at crafting key messaging and positioning clients to better communicate with key audiences. To find out more about our media training packages, or to discuss how we can support your business or organisation, please get in touch with Michael Taitmichael.tait@cavendishadvocacy.com

 

PRWeek UK Corporate, City & Public Affairs Awards announce shortlist

PRWeek UK Corporate, City & Public Affairs Awards announce shortlist

Starting the year as we mean to go on, BECG Group has been shortlisted in four categories at this year’s PRWeek UK Corporate, City & Public Affairs Awards.  These prestigious awards showcase and celebrate the best campaigns, projects, agencies, in-house teams and individuals across corporate communications, financial PR and public affairs. They are the only Awards focused entirely on these three disciplines – recognising their increased prominence and collaboration in the modern communications landscape.

Following BECG Group being ranked by PRWeek as number one in Public Affairs since 2021, we have been shortlisted for ‘Best Agency for Public Affairs’ – further underlining our reputation as a trusted advisor to our clients, helping to protect reputations through communications which create understanding, acceptance and support.

Highlighting the growing importance of digital channels as an integral part of public affairs campaigns, our already award-winning social media campaign ‘What If?’ with National Grid has been shortlisted for ‘Best use of social media and/or influencers in a campaign’. The ‘What If?’ campaign sought to raise awareness of the need for new energy infrastructure in East Anglia and to mobilise green energy advocates in support of their projects. 

Our crisis communications expertise was put to the test when working with a top-five national housebuilder on an undeveloped site containing chemical contamination which has been shortlisted for ‘Best Crisis Comms’. Meanwhile, our ‘Service with Respect’ campaign with The Institute of Customer Service (ICS), which protected customer service workers during and beyond Covid-19 has been shortlisted for ‘Best pro-active lobbying campaign on an issue or case’. The campaign drove change to protect frontline workers and raised the issue in mainstream media and Westminster, to change societal mindsets that abuse of customer-facing workers was unacceptable.

Carl Daruvalla, BECG Group’s CEO, said:

“The PRWeek UK awards showcase the best in class across Corporate, City and Public Affairs disciplines so being shortlisted for four categories including ‘Best Agency for Public Affairs’ is a fantastic result for BECG Group and is testament to the hard work from the project teams involved. We are very proud of the campaigns that have been shortlisted, and together, they show the breadth of our expertise across the Group and our ability to offer a fully rounded reputation management service to our clients. We look forward to the awards ceremony and celebrating with our industry peers.”

Click here for more information about our award-winning services or you can sign up to subscribe to our industry-leading insight here.

A look ahead to Planning and Development in 2023

A look ahead to Planning and Development in 2023

For many, January is a time of reflection. This time last year many in the development industry had high hopes that the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill and expected planning reforms would lead to a welcome boost for the sector.

Fast forward twelve months and those hopes have been dashed due to a perfect storm of organised Tory backbench rebellions, two DLUHC Secretaries of State and a revolving door of five Ministers – with responsibility for Housing and Planning – taking up office during this time due to the well-documented political upheaval at Westminster.

So, what next for the development sector, and where are we going to see the green shoots of growth? We are entering the year under the triple spectre of a moderate recession, stubbornly high inflation and rising interest rates – all placing downward pressure on growth and making businesses and consumers nervous and reluctant to invest.

According to the CBRE 2023 market outlook, transaction volumes will fall in 2023 with investors and developers adopting a ‘wait and see approach’ after being burned by global events and political instability throughout 2022.

While the overall economic outlook might be bleak there are some sectors in the built environment that are proving more resilient than others. We look at what might be in store for them during the rest of 2023:

Retail and Supermarkets

The retail sector will not be immune to economic headwinds in 2023. However, it is expected that there is room for modest expansion for well positioned occupiers such as the discount supermarkets. They are benefitting from revolutionised retail habits driven by the cost of living crisis and have ambitious plans to continue growing their market share.

Some retailers had hoped to capitalise on the Investment Zones proposed by Liz Truss, however this policy has been substantially watered down by the current PM. The onus is now on local authorities to provide fertile areas for development, while providing quicker routes through the planning system so retailers’ expansion plans are not curtailed.

Build to Rent

With mortgage rates remaining well above where they sat prior to Kwasi Kwerteng’s disastrous financial statement in September many prospective homeowners hoping to buy are holding off, fuelling continued growth in the rental sector.

This is resulting in strong occupier demand for Build-to-Rent and Co-Living across the country with many operators, big and small, planning significant investments for 2023.

The buoyant BTR market is helping to fill the gap with the lack of new homes being built, this coincided with DLUHC removing their national housing targets after pressure from the back benches.

The brownfield first approach to new homes, favoured by the Government and originally driven by the NIMBYs, suits the BTR sector across towns and cities so they should be well positioned to grow in 2023.

Film and TV

The UK Film & TV Studio Market has been experiencing somewhat of a boom with supply insufficient to keep pace with the rising demand for new content from broadcasters, studios and streaming services.

For many years, the UK has proved popular as a base for screen production with the Government hailing it as a major UK economic success story.  Seen as a key area to achieve growth, they are supportive of future investments.

Government support, surging rents and rising capital values continue to drive new investors into the market. With some 60% of the current production stock focused on London and the South East, there are opportunities for other parts of the UK to grab a slice of this lucrative market.

Logistics

The strength of the logistics sector is demonstrated by the critically low vacancy rates across the UK. The sector, like many others, is facing a workforce crisis and the Government needs to act soon to drive down vacancy rates for drivers – reports show that the haulage industry needs around 50,000 drivers at present. The Government launched its ‘Generation Logistics’ campaign last year but progress has been slow.

As consumers re-evaluate purchases, it is likely that the pace of private consumption, supplied by the nation’s logistics sector, will remain resilient and reinforce its position as a major contributor to total UK real estate investment during 2023.

For more information, or if you would like advice on how we can help you navigate the political and policy landscape, get in touch with Matthew Morrison: matthew.morrison@cavendishadvocacy.com

Business welcomes clarity on Deposit Return Schemes, but challenges remain

Business welcomes clarity on Deposit Return Schemes, but challenges remain

The Governments of England, Wales and Northern Ireland have today set out their plans to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers from October 2025. 

The scheme is designed to tackle litter and increase recycling rates, and will require consumers to pay a small cash deposit on every plastic bottle or aluminium can they purchase from supermarkets, cafes and restaurants, or online retailers, refundable when they return their empty container for recycling. 

Broadly speaking, the introduction of DRS in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland will be coordinated and aligned, and the Government’s intention is for the schemes to be interoperable. But there are some nuances; for instance, the Welsh scheme will include glass, where as England and Northern Ireland won’t. 

Detail on the scheme after such a long wait (the consultation closed in June 2021) will provide businesses with some clarity on the path forwards, but questions still remain about the overall effectiveness of a deposit return scheme to tackle litter and increase recycling rates. 

The Government says that a DRS will “provide a simple and effective system across the country that helps people reduce litter and recycle more easily, even when on the move.” But there have been concerns that the Government is targeting its efforts at the wrong materials, and that the scheme will not be responsive enough to future needs. 

Plastic bottles are already pretty recyclable and recycled. Stats from the British Plastics Federation show that, while 100% of councils collect plastic bottles, only 61% of plastic bottles are actually collected for recycling. Corners of industry have said that the Government would be better off investing in better kerbside collection to ensure that these materials are able to be better collected from people’s homes. As it stands, from 2025, consumers will be asked to extract bottles and cans from their household waste stream and take them down to a reverse vending machine in order to get their deposits back. So will the public care enough about getting that 20p back to do this, or will it just get considered essentially price inflation? 

And how will this change be communicated to the public – whose uptake this whole thing relies on – to make sure it works? Especially given the additional changes to kerbside collections on the way.  

Some experts say a deposit return scheme would be better targeted at materials where there is no obvious end market. When I spoke to Dr Adam Read, President of the Chartered Institute for Waste Management, for my podcast Green Shoots, he told me that a DRS for more difficult-to-recycle products like batteries or mattresses would better incentivise consumers and help drive up recycling rates. 

So, plenty of challenges remain. But the good news for business is that there is still plenty of time to get the scheme right before 2025, and the Government will hope to allay industry concerns as it consults with businesses over the next two years. 

For more information, or if you would like any advice on how to engage with the Government on waste and resources, get in touch with Jack Spriggs: jack.spriggs@cavendishadvocacy.com 

An appetite for change. Has it taken a cost-of-living crisis for Britain to start taking food waste seriously? 

An appetite for change. Has it taken a cost-of-living crisis for Britain to start taking food waste seriously? 

For most of us, the start of a new year provides an opportunity to reflect on the year gone by. But after 12 months of increasing prices, grim economic outlooks and even worse forecasts for living standards, many Brits might have 2022 down as a year they’d rather forget.

Now infamously coined the “cost-of-living crisis”, the rapidly rising cost of essential goods this year has seen Britain’s consumers battling the highest rate of food price inflation in nearly half a century.

The threat of food insecurity looms large for customers and retailers alike. But amidst the ongoing crises, there are lessons to be learnt from the cost-of-living crisis that could shape the future of food retail in the UK.

According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), some 3.6 million tonnes of produce is reported to be wasted by the UK’s food industry each year, the vast majority of which ends up landfill sites. Conversations around tackling food waste have typically been framed within wider discussions of sustainability, with targets for food waste reduction closely tied to those of plastic packaging and decarbonisation of the food industry.

However, with the rate of food inflation now consistently averaging at over 10%, tackling Britain’s food waste problem has extended beyond a sustainability issue to now be seen as a vital part of the solution to food poverty in the UK.

Charities have been calling on supermarkets and restaurants to increase their commitments on food waste to help the growing number of households struggling to put food on the table and the heightened media scrutiny of businesses throughout the cost-of-living crisis has left some companies battling reputational damage for their record on this issue. This has led to a push from big brands to bring forward their food waste targets, with Tesco recently committing to align executives’ pay to a new 2023 target, citing that “tackling food waste has never been more urgent”.

However, the nature of the current crisis means that it is not only the most vulnerable looking to protect themselves from rising costs. Rather, the sky-rocketing prices of the last twelve months have meant that everyone is looking to save where they can and the resultant shift in consumer behaviour has put pressure on businesses to provide cheaper or long-lasting products or risk losing customers to their competitors.

The growing demand for lower-cost alternatives has seen consumers increasingly reach for frozen food items and “wonky” fruit and veg, inadvertently driving improvements in food waste as supermarkets respond by expanding their offerings of such items.

Initiatives such as Too Good to Go and Olio, which allow food retailers to sell off their surplus items at the end of the day for a reduced price rather than throwing them away, have also gained traction for allowing Britain’s love of takeaway to continue without adding strain to already squeezed budgets.

The growing “waste not, want not” attitude of Britain’s consumers, coupled with the increasing calls on businesses to provide compassionate relief for households, means that food retailers are facing undue pressure to adapt a ‘new normal’ around food consumption in the UK. Recent murmurings of implementing a windfall tax on supermarkets will likely accelerate this trend, as brands seek to avoid the perception that they are profiteering while their customers battle heightened food insecurity.

The news last month of the UK’s inflation rate dipping slightly in the month to December had commentators heralding that the worst of inflation should now be behind us, but it is far too soon for any claims that we are out of the woods.

The fact remains that forecasts for the UK economy are bleak and the looming recession and lagging wages mean it will take time before individuals start feeling any better off. Moreover, the ongoing tensions within the food supply chain will continue to drive inflation on supermarket shelves, meaning food retailers will remain firmly on the frontline of the cost-of-living crisis as it drags itself into the coming year.

Ultimately, 2022 might have been the year that Britain started taking its food waste issue seriously, with consumers, brands and policymakers alike responding to the severity of the threat that food insecurity poses to the UK. As we look ahead to the coming year, food retailers can expect scrutiny of their record on food waste to continue and responding proactively to these concerns might be the key to a fruitful 2023.

Contact us if you’d like to find out more about how we can help you manage your brands’ reputation in relation to food waste or the net zero agenda