RECUWATT Conference - Paul Davison lecture

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SECTION VI: WASTE-TO-ENERGY AND SOCIETY
“Waste-to-energy and communication” by Mr. Paul Davison, Managing Director of PROTEUS, United Kingdom

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RECUWATT Conference - Paul Davison lecture

  1. 1. EfW AND COMMUNICATIONS FLEXIBLE THINKING, COMMUNICATIONS EXCELLENCECopy right Proteus 2011 AGENDA • A bit of background • Principles of environmental communications • Nature of environmental issues • Emotional engagement • Three fundamental truths in human behaviour • Principles of effective communications • Effective engagement • Role of third parties • The role of the media • ConclusionsCopy right Proteus 2011
  2. 2. PROTEUS PR LTD • Established in 1996 • An award-winning public relations consultancy • Based in Oxfordshire, but working throughout the UK and Europe • Offering a full range of marketing communications services, with specialist experience in environmental PR • Considerable waste management and energy experience working for contractors, local authorities, central government, WRAP and waste trade bodies • Planning support, strategic issues management, crisis management and effective community engagement • Worked on more than 30 thermal energy projects, currently working on several waste projects, 12 wind farms,1.2GW gas fired power station and a 300MW biomass plantCopy right Proteus 2011 PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATIONS - EMOTION VS SCIENCECopy right Proteus 2011
  3. 3. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH THE ENVIRONMENT? • Environmental issues are complex and rarely ‘black and white’ • Environmental impact can be emotionally disturbing • Often environmental campaigns claim the moral high ground • Business and Government are often reviewed from the perspective of appreciating their vested interests • Awareness of energy issues and climate change is increasingCopy right Proteus 2011 WHO WOULD YOU TRUST ON THE ENVIRONMENT? 70 60% 61% 60 50 40 25% 30 23% 20 14% 10 4% 5% 0 Politicians Industry Newspapers Government Television Independent Green services scientists organisations Source: DefraCopy right Proteus 2011
  4. 4. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH WASTE? • In most countries waste and waste management is seen as a problem and not a solution • Waste is rarely perceived as a resource • Waste is seen as dangerous to the environment and therefore management facilities pose a high risks • Until recently waste management has always been someone elses problem and communities have had little engagement except near waste facilities • In reality most concerns are related to nuisance • Fundamentally its all about where the responsibility lies!Copy right Proteus 2011 EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT • Environment impacts are seen as: • Adversely affecting health and wellbeing • Adversely affecting an individuals rights or vested interests • Waste facilities are seen as: • Adversely affecting health and wellbeing • Adversely affecting an individuals rights or vested interests • Result: • People will become emotionally involved in development issues • They will look for any anti information and filter out positive messages • They will stop listening and start shoutingCopy right Proteus 2011
  5. 5. MODERN ANTI-WASTE TACTICS • Traditional tactics continue • Letter writing • Lobby government • Petitions etc • Use of planning system • Use of information on the Internet…Copy right Proteus 2011 MORE INTERNET EXPERTSCopy right Proteus 2011
  6. 6. GET MARCHINGCopy right Proteus 2011 CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTCopy right Proteus 2011
  7. 7. MORE MEDIA FRIENDLYCopy right Proteus 2011Copy right Proteus 2011
  8. 8. INTERNET EXPERTS • NetworkingCopy right Proteus 2011 THE FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS BEHIND CONFLICTS • People do not like change • Especially if they feel they have no influence or control • Perception is truth • Today opinion has the same value as FACTS • “What’s in it for them?” • If they see no value to them, they are more likely to object • But, a lot changes with proximityCopy right Proteus 2011
  9. 9. EFW FOR OXFORDSHIRE Positive Neutral Negative Chipping Banbury Ardley Norton (26 km) (14km)Copy right Proteus 2011 THE PROBLEM IS ALMOST ALWAYS A LACK OF CONTEXT • Some of these issues are dependent upon the maturity of the waste industry and its historical context • But more often it’s all about who is doing the communications • Plant operators often focused on gaining planning permission, dealing with stakeholder enquiries, and specifically their part of the waste chain • Local authorities or collection authorities are interested in community engagement to deliver wastes in appropriate formats • Central Governments are often too broad in their communications • This lack of co-ordination is one of the main problems with a lack of context • So why is this important…Copy right Proteus 2011
  10. 10. CURRENTLY INCINERATION IS A PROBLEM NOT A SOLUTION • Lack of context simply exposes your vested interest, you’re only interested in one bit, the bit that makes you money – your vested interest • This leads to a lack of trust • A lack of trust = CONFLICTCopy right Proteus 2011 PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS - Establish contextCopy right Proteus 2011
  11. 11. SELLING ‘ANYTHING’ TO CONSUMERS IDENTIFY WHAT’S THE PROBLEM/PRODUCT ISSUES DEFINE GENERATE DESIRE FOR SOLUTION/PRODUCT NEEDS DELIVER SATISFY DESIRE SOLUTIONCopy right Proteus 2011SELLING ‘ANYTHING’ TOCONSUMERS WIDESPREAD COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAMME TO ALL STAKEHOLDERS LU ER N O DEMONSTRATE SO LI V TI EFFECTIVENESS AND DE PROVIDE FEEDBACK GENERATE DESIRE FOR POSITIVE CHANGE IN UNDERSTANDING PROPOSED SOLUTION PROVEN EXPERIENCE DS E EE N N EFI INCREASE D AND BEHAVIOUR UNDERSTANDING OF OPTIONS AND PROCESS ROLE OF RECYCLING AND ES FY RESIDUAL WASTE SU TI IS E N SPECIFY TIMEFRAME ID CURRENT POSITION INCREASE AWARENESS OF NEED/ISSUES RECYCLING IS GOOD, BECOMING A BIT OF A DEMONSTRATE PAIN, CONFUSION PROBLEMS SHORTEST TIME POSSIBLECopy right Proteus 2011
  12. 12. IMPLICATIONS • First – there is a problem • Deliver historical context – ‘How did it come to this?” • It cannot continue • Second – it involves the public at every level • It’s their waste!!!! • They must have a role in solving the problem • Third – if we can deliver the solution it will benefit everyone • It will reduce waste and make better use of resources • It will clearly benefit the environment • Effective waste management is a positive environmental opportunityCopy right Proteus 2011 TRADITIONAL WASTE COMMUNICATIONS Protesters Issues MEDIA Story Audience Waste Stunts companyCopy right Proteus 2011
  13. 13. PROACTIVE COMMUNICATIONS Resistance to message Stunts Protesters Issues Letters MEDIA STORY AUDIENCE Issues Informed filtering Waste Positive Third Party company Ad vocates Information CampaignsCopy right Proteus 2011 CONCLUSIONS • Be proactive - change the perception • Too much emphasis on planning • Think image • Network good practice • Have genuine dialogue with residents and media • Its in all our interests to get it right • The real Eco-worriors are those people who do something to ‘save the planet’, that’s the public and those who provide effective solutions to the waste opportunityCopy right Proteus 2011
  14. 14. FIND OUT MORE • Paul Davison, Managing Director • Tel: +44 (0)1295 279626 • Email: paul.davison@proteuspr.co.uk • Visit: www.proteuspr.co.ukCopy right Proteus 2011

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