Copper Consultancy has become the communications and engagement partner for UKRI’s £210 million Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC).

UKRI launched the IDC to support the reduction of carbon emissions in the six largest industrial clusters in the UK by providing funding for deploying technologies such as carbon capture and hydrogen fuel switching as well as developing a blueprint to achieve net-zero emissions for each industrial cluster, which will become the legacy of the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge.

The clusters represent hundreds of businesses, charities and governmental bodies with over 1.5 million employees across the UK. This presented a challenge in developing a cohesive communication approach that resulted in all clusters, and their members, understanding the goals of the IDC and having an equal opportunity to access its investment.

To meet this challenge, Copper was chosen as UKRI’s communications partner to develop a strategy and plan to raise awareness of the IDC with key stakeholders and increase overall engagement with the clusters. Copper worked closely with the IDC team every step of the way to ensure they retained ownership of the overarching strategic direction.

We started by spending time with key members of the IDC team to better understand challenges the organisation faces and areas of opportunity. This initial interaction also allowed us to query, challenge and refine the initial brief based on our expert insight. Through this process we established clear objectives to build a strategy from.

Based on the newly honed objectives, Copper conducted a series of interviews with communication and project leads from each of the 6 industrial clusters. The information drawn from the interviews was recorded anonymously to encourage respondents to provide honest and open answers, which we used to build our initial strategy.

We presented our analysis of the themes that stood out in the interviews at a messaging and strategy workshop with the IDC.  During the meeting we tested our initial strategic approach and utilised an interactive online workspace to allow the IDC members to brainstorm key messages. The IDC team came from diverse backgrounds, which provided different viewpoints based on their areas of expertise. This insight was valuable as it allowed Copper to understand where the team aligned and differed on key messaging themes.

Following the meeting, we compiled all the insights from our research and the workshop to produce a well-informed, collaborative communication and engagement strategy that met all of IDC’s objectives. Alongside this strategy, we created a tiered implementation plan with different levels of activity which would contribute to the IDC’s growing awareness with audiences and engagement with key stakeholders.