Photo by Marek Piwnicki / Unsplash

When we think of legendary marketing campaigns, we think of Apple and Nike.

Here is an unlikely one.

The year was 2004. The good folks at British Petroleum resolved this was the moment. Fossil fuels and petroleum continued to receive a "bad rap" for polluting our planet. They had enough and decided to correct it.

They wrote a three-act story.

The first act.

Hello there, this amazing new thing will change your life.

The oil major unveiled its carbon footprint calculator. This allowed regular folks, like you and I, to know the negative impact of everyday activities. Cooking, travelling, powering our homes, etc., all have a footprint.

And to nobody's surprise, 278,000 people used the calculator that same year.

The second act.

Ask not what I can do for you, ask what you can do for me.

The year was 2006. BP launched a website that nudged people (and itself) to go on a 'low-carbon diet'. BP asked of regular folks, nay, implored us to ask ourselves tough questions. What exactly is our relationship with carbon? How can we reduce our dependency on carbon emitting technologies and fuels? What steps are others taking around the world?

The site was a part of a cleverly-titled ad campaign called 'Beyond Petroleum'. Lol.

The third and the final act.

So long, suckers.

BP successfully assigned responsibility for climate impact on individuals. They made emissions that are invisible into something tangible - your personal carbon footprint.

This is the untold story of the greatest campaign we never knew. And with it, BP found a gift that keeps on giving.

Here is a tweet from 2019, asking people to calculate their footprint and make a pledge.

So, is British Petroleum the bad guy here perpetuating climate change?

Sure, if you consider their historical role in pumping emissions into the atmosphere. Not to mention its callousness about environmental threats posed and actual damage caused by their operations.

But, I have a case to make about BP being a visionary when it comes to climate change. They saw something nobody could. All the way back in the 2000s.

BP is a climate oracle because ...

... they saw into their crystal ball and found

the world locked in long-drawn negotiations at global climate conferences that didn't speed up climate action.

the global north argue over meeting a $100 billion annual commitment that eased climate effects in the global south.

large corporations successfully lobby governments to continue to power economies with fossil fuels.

countries and governments prioritise economic interests over environmental interests.  

(I could go on, but you get the general drift.)

BP saw something we didn't. That all this inaction was affecting the lives of regular people.

And they wanted to rectify this injustice.

BP took the 'teach a man to fish' route. They gave us tools to do it on our own, (instead of more meaningful ways like reducing its reliance on fossil fuels, or investing in cleaner sources of energy right away.)

They gave hope to humanity for a greener future through individual action, while governments argued and haggled over collective action and climate responsibility.

So, #ThankYouBP.

At Climes, we are extra grateful towards BP. Because, the greatest marketing campaign the world never knew, indirectly gave birth to Climes. (We have a good laugh about it every now and then.)

Okay, real talk.

What's insidious about BP's campaign is it took something as inevitable as personal carbon footprint, and presented it as the cause for climate change. That absolved perpetrators and enablers of climate change of any responsibility.

What's amazing about BP's campaign is it played right into innate human behaviour. Ordinary people cannot remove or reduce millions of tonnes of emissions. What they can do is choose to be responsible about personal consumption for the sake of our planet.

If we lived in an ideal world, Climes wouldn't have a mission.

But we don't live in one, so Climes does.

And it is a mission that we take seriously - to democratise access to climate action.

As controversial as it may sound, we took inspiration from the BP playbook.  

We absorb the complexity that comes with emissions (much like BP), but also offer easy ways to take meaningful climate action (very unlike BP).

People are too cool for a hot planet

Here is our very own three-act story

The first act.

Nail the science, but don't intimidate. Because, oooo science.

Build accurate mathematical models that quantify emissions at an order-level, but get it to work in the background.  And do this across various sectors - flights, bus travel, deliveries, foods etc. What is visible is only a single emissions metric associated with the order.

The second act.

Allow brands to go climate-friendly fast.

We integrate with everyday brands on their checkout page. Our tech stack enables consumer brands to offer their customers the choice to neutralise every order for a fraction of the order value. It is a friction-free, seamless integration that doesn't take too long and fires up in milliseconds.

The third and final act.

There's no batman, without a bat-cave.

Customers who neutralise even once get their dedicated command-centre for climate action. They get to track their positive impact, support projects that rejuvenate our planet, and unlock rewards for fighting the good fight.

British Petroleum introduced the term 'carbon footprint' to distance itself from climate change.

We used it to build a solution that allows anybody to get closer to slowing the effects of climate change.

All on a simple premise.

Everybody likes a cooler planet.

We are convinced about a future where meaningful climate action comes from the unlikeliest of places - regular folks who don't get a seat at boardroom meetings or policy discussions.

But we are also pragmatic about what it takes for large-scale transformations.

For climate action to be an economic and a political priority, we need to make it popular.

We are taking the first step by making it convenient. Whether you are a brand or an individual, we make it easy for you to become climate-friendly. And we go from there.

As of today, 22,000+ people have taken action to cool down our planet with Climes.

We have partnered with marquee brands like MakeMyTrip, zingbus, and more. We have deployed integrations for consumer brands in food, fashion, deliveries, etc.

In a little under 12 months, we have saved over 200,000 kgs of emissions & are on track to do a 1 million kgs of emissions by this year.

We have seen instances in our partnerships where over 50% of customers have opted-in for climate action. We know your customers would like that option too.

Get in touch with us today.