Everything has gone green

OSC Insight | 1 August 2020 | Author: Saul Trewern


If you open any maritime trade journal or visit any industry website in 2020 you’re likely to be confronted with a figurative wall of ‘green’. It’s encouraging that so many equipment manufacturers and suppliers, service providers, ship owners and industry organisations are focusing on the environment, after all, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is essential for, well, everything.

There is a challenge, which in the scheme of things pales in comparison to an uncertain future that could lead to environmental catastrophe, but is important to me and many other maritime marketing and communications professionals; how do you stand out when everything has already gone green?

The sustainability messaging is coming thick and fast. New technologies are launched every day, but I’m concerned that despite the potential benefits on offer, some game-changing innovations may not reach their full market potential. Failure to distil the facts at the start and green overload in the market means we must work that little bit harder to engage potential customers.

Backing your environmental claims with data is the starting point. Using jargon will get you so far but qualified data will get you much further. Applying data in an interesting or unique context will get you further still. This is where the creativity of marketing professionals should be focused.

Success or obscurity

I was lucky enough to be involved in the communications campaign surrounding the Yara Birkeland, a trail-blazing autonomous ship designed for short-sea routes in southern Norway. Despite production being paused due to Covid-19, Yara Birkeland still represents a breakthrough in vessel design and technology development. But what convinced me was this clear statement: “With this vessel, Yara will reduce diesel-powered truck haulage by 40,000 journeys a year.”

When reader engagement is the difference between success and obscurity, this is such a great example of how data can be refined and conveyed to tell a clear story. It’s far more powerful than just the numbers in a press release or a pretty infographic using a Canva Pro account (#notbashing).

Marketing communications folk understand the importance of data to the story, but when everything has already gone green to the point of saturation, taking the outcome of data to the forefront is sure way to get the message home.

Ok, the fate of the world might not be in the hands of communicators but transforming data on the product or service being marketed into easy to gauge terms will ultimately help it to sell. Then perhaps your company or client’s green solutions can be given a chance to start saving the world.

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