Environmental Defense Fund
Spitfire was hired by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF + Business) to redefine Fortune 500 corporate climate leadership to include policy advocacy. Day after day, companies make climate announcements or commitments, with few actually tackling the issue using their most powerful tool: political influence. By advocating for essential climate-smart policy, aligning their commitments with those of their trade associations, and allocating resources to win policy change, corporate leaders can help ensure our planet reaches the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. To achieve this, Spitfire partnered with EDF on leveraging the broader trend toward stakeholder capitalism and the growing demands from employees, consumers, and investors for companies to do more to take on climate change.
Key to this process was the promotion of the AAA Framework for Climate Policy Leadership, endorsed by the leading environmental groups that work with business. Spitfire created a branded site that makes the AAA Framework “official” and provides ongoing guidance for corporations and media along with a roadmap to climate policy leadership. Spitfire also developed a communications toolkit, which included talking points, social media content, infographics, slideshow presentations, and thought leadership ideas, to help promote and share the website.
Spitfire also built and launched the Climate Authenticity Meter, a tool that evaluates which companies recently took action to move us towards, or away, from net-zero by 2050, enabling key stakeholders, journalists and those who rank companies’ sustainability efforts to gain an authentic metric of who is helping or hurting. We established a consistent drumbeat for the Climate Authenticity Meter on the EDF+Biz Twitter feed. The team identified and used a unique hashtag (#ClimateAuthenticityMeter) to solidify branding and amplified promotion from influencers in the climate space, including David Roberts, Moms Clean Air Force, and Marc Gunther, while organizing briefings to ensure partners contributed to and used the Climate Authenticity Meter in their own efforts. Spitfire also supported EDF with a comprehensive LinkedIn advertising campaign to promote the Meter, which resulted in 67,000 ad impressions. Additionally, media outreach secured coverage in influential outlets like The New Yorker’s Climate Crisis Newsletter, Inside EPA’s Environment Next, and Business Marketing Journal’s Publisher’s Weekly.
To generate attention from key audiences, Spitfire monitored opportunities to hold corporate leadership accountable and increase awareness and use of the AAA Framework in the media landscape. We raised attention for companies using their influence to advocate for renewable energy investments in the summer 2020 Congressional stimulus package, leading to positive coverage in key trade publications like The Hill, Energy & Environment News, and the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Energy newsletter. To inspire a network effect among Fortune 500 C-suite leaders, and to continue establishing EDF’s thought leadership in the space, we developed and produced a video interview with a high-profile sustainability leader from McDonald’s telling the story of how a major, global corporation decided to advocate for policy in order to create effective climate solutions. To build attention from influencers and industry members, We also helped build EDF’s profile among influences and industry members by writing blog posts like this, conducting rapid response outreach and identifying and pitching speaking opportunities, including events where EDF could continue socializing the AAA Framework.
This is just the beginning, and Spitfire is proud to be part of launching these initiatives and positioning EDF to effectively manage them internally, helping the initiatives to grow down the road – leading to stronger corporate leadership to tackle the climate crisis.