Companies stand up for this carbon fee

by | Oct 25, 2018

Shelton Insight

64% of Americans believe companies should provide ongoing support for issues that align with the types of products or services they offer (Brands and Stands 2018).

Sustainability Win of the Week

It’s election season once again. But what’s at stake this year seems different. In the past few weeks we’ve heard the warnings of the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change: keep global warming under 1.5C or prepare for potentially catastrophic consequences. We’ve also seen the retreat of EPA and other government agencies from taking a stand against global warming – such as the disbanding of EPA’s scientific review panel on air pollution a few days ago.

Now, more than ever, the future is in our hands quite literally: companies and individuals are stepping in to help out in areas where the government has stepped out.

A recent article from Sustainable Brands (“REI, Microsoft Rallying Companies to Support Washington’s Proposed Carbon Fee”) sums up the political situation thusly: in light of political gridlock on the one hand and dire climate warnings on the other, companies are intervening and doing what many customers/citizens already want. Over 100+ companies headquartered in Washington state, including Microsoft and REI, are supporting a bill that “would enact a carbon emissions fee of $15 per metric ton of carbon, starting in 2020, with this fee increasing by $2 annually until the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals are met.” Revenue, in turn, would support communities adversely affected by rising energy costs, and would also go toward clean energy investment and various environmental programs.

REI, which supports the bill, sees this as “a real opportunity to walk the walk when it comes to sustainability.” And they’re right. Consumers are used to companies “talking the talk” – but what will make a brand truly stand out is “walking the walk” as these companies are doing here.

News of the Week

BMW Group, Northvolt, Umicore to develop closed-loop system for EV batteries – Sustainable Brands

Batteries are key to clean mobility and clean energy – and so they must be more environmentally sustainable themselves. These companies have joined forces to address the entire value chain for EV batteries, from sustainably sourced raw materials to redesigned battery elements to recovering used materials.

Walmart, SunPower announce 23-megawatt solar agreement – CSRwire

Great news on the corporate leadership front … and news that should light a fire (figuratively) under utilities that aren’t working with their key accounts on renewable energy projects. Walmart’s newest move toward its goal of 50% renewables by 2025 will take place in Illinois, where new solar projects will “represent a 25% increase in Illinois’ current solar capacity.” Utilities, count the number of times this press release mentions how Walmart’s PPA with SunPower will protect them from rising utility rates.

Microplastics are turning up everywhere, even in human excrement – NPR

And now for sobering news. A pilot medical study presented this week found proof of human ingestion of microplastics in eight different countries on three different continents. The impact of microplastics in our food and water is still a big unknown – and one more reason for more and more companies to take a lead on the issues of plastic waste and the circular economy.

Do consumers really care whether brands take a stand?

Yes, they do. But your brand can’t choose just any stand and expect them to love you for it. Learn how social purpose can create connection with consumers.

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About the Author

Suzanne Shelton

Suzanne Shelton

Where Suzanne sees opportunity, you can bet results will follow. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of both the advertising world and the energy and environment arena, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights to our clients and to audiences around North America. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as GreenBiz, and she speaks at around 20 conferences a year, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and Green Build.

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Suzanne Shelton

President and CEO

Suzanne is the voice and the vision of Shelton Group. Drawing on her extensive experience in energy and the environment – and 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry – Suzanne provides high-level strategic insights for our clients and guidance for our research and creative departments. She regularly speaks at conferences around the country, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and the International Builders’ Show, and serves as a guest columnist for publications like Fast Company, Green Builder and

Susannah Enkema

VP Research & Insights

Susannah directs our research team and plays a key role in extracting the nuggets of information that pave the way for recommended marketing strategies and creative approaches. Susannah has nearly two decades of market research and strategy experience, including her role as president of SE Consulting, where she led the services for the likes of DIY Network and the makers of GORE-TEX®.

Matt Brass

VP Creative

Matt steers the creative department in concepting, designing and producing campaigns. He ensures sound strategy and deep insights inform everything his team develops, and works closely with the accounts department to ensure copy and designs will meet our clients’ goals. As a designer and filmmaker himself, he’s also a principal contributor to all of Shelton’s in-house photography and videography work.

Courtnay Hamachek

VP Operations

Courtnay oversees our day-to-day operations to keep us running smoothly and support our growth. She establishes project management systems and processes to help our teams anticipate bottlenecks, prevent process issues, and keep projects on time and on target. Courtnay has built extensive experience over 25 years in all aspects of marketing, from account services and project management to design and production.

Aaron Crecy

Digital Marketing Director

Aaron is responsible for planning, executing and measuring digital marketing strategies for Shelton Group and our clients, with an emphasis on inbound, content, SEO, social media, email and paid initiatives. He constantly researches and explores new tactics and strategies to improve digital campaign performance and results.

Aaron brings to the table more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience with premium consumer-facing brands. He came to Shelton Group by way of Malibu Boats, where, as Director of Global Marketing, he oversaw strategic marketing planning and execution for multiple product lines, with specific emphasis on social media and digital. Prior to that, he served as CMO for a leading daily fantasy sports operator, guiding it from startup to the industry’s third-ranked site.

Scot Case

Senior Consultant

A sustainability strategy consultant since 1993, Scot has served as non-profit leader, as a partner in an environmental marketing firm that he grew and sold, and as an executive in a multi-billion-dollar, international company. He has published dozens of articles and case studies, was co-author of the original “Sins of Greenwashing” study, testified before Congress, and been quoted on NPR, Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times, Business Week, and the Wall Street Journal. Scot was also highlighted in an Emmy award-winning documentary on sustainable purchasing.

Casey Ward

VP Account Services

Casey manages our relationships, growth and development with a specific group of clients that includes Environmental Defense Fund, Cotton LEADS and CertainTeed Insulation. She provides leadership and support for the account team members who manage the day-to-day processes for these clients. She contributes to strategic direction for each client and guides our creative efforts to ensure everything we do builds toward meeting – or exceeding – the client’s goals. Her ability to simultaneously see the big picture and pay close attention to the details helps her champion her clients’ needs and identify new growth opportunities for them.