Celebrating the Strawberry Line Sandford link
Together with National Grid, our Energy team were proud to organise a celebration event for the opening of the Strawberry Line Sandford link, built as part of National Grid’s Hinkley Connection Project.
The event was enjoyed by over 200 local residents, including families and children (and dogs) – many dressed as superheroes – who walked, biked and wheeled their way to the Strawberry Line in Sandford, North Somerset.
Highways UK 2023
For our roads team, the overwhelming highlight was attending Highways UK 2023 where we joined forces with RSK to host a stand complete with water art.
Rounding off the first day, we hosted our annual Copper dinner, which was attended by infrastructure leaders like Alasdair Reisner, CECA Chief Executive, who shared invaluable insights into the Second National Infrastructure Assessment – hot off the press earlier that day.
Approval of HS2 A46 Main Compound extension
Helping HS2 win approval for the A46 Main Compound extension planning application was a key moment for our rail team. In November, the successful application was almost unanimously approved by Warwick District Council’s planning committee.
Importantly, the project will expand HS2’s construction operations in Warwickshire and enable construction of key infrastructure, such as bridges, embankments and cuttings.
Public Attitudes to Social Value report
Earlier this year, we launched our Public Attitudes to Social Value report, which revealed compelling insights into public opinion on the delivery of social value by construction projects.
The report showed that public awareness hasn’t kept pace with the progress that the construction industry has made in delivering social value. You can read the full report here: Delivering Social Value With Copper Consultancy
Surprising public attitudes to renewable energy
This year, our Public Attitudes to Renewable Energy report revealed, to our surprise, just how low the UK public’s awareness and understanding of renewable energy is. Indeed, only 6% of respondents were aware that almost half of UK energy already comes from renewables.
Following our report’s launch, we organised an industry-led round table that brought together the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, East of England Energy Group and energy developers to collaborate and coordinate efforts to raise awareness of renewable energy projects. More to come in the New Year!
Content & Creative
Copper Content & Creative launched
In April, Copper Consultancy merged with RSK Creative to form Copper Content & Creative, a new practice dedicated to delivering compelling technical B2B marketing services, including copywriting, editing, graphic design, brand development and animation and visualisation.
New practice, new clients
As our new practice grows, so does our client base and service portfolio. This year, we’ve welcomed an increasingly diverse range of projects, in subject areas including aquaculture, carbon-capture technologies, industrial decarbonisation and sustainable fuels.
Throughout the year, our Content & Creative team has welcomed new and experienced graphic designers, editors and project managers, all of whom offer new and exciting perspectives and expertise.
With a bigger team and a wider pool of talent, we can offer a broader range of end-to-end editorial and design services to our clients.
Cementing long-term relationships
In December, we extended our long-standing relationship with Shell Polymers in the USA, a major deal that will see our team triple the delivery scope of technical marketing services to Shell’s polymers team.
10 years of energy technology reporting
In October, we hosted an anniversary lunch to celebrate 10 years of editorial and design support for Shell’s flagship technology magazine, Shell TechXplorer.
Our editorial and design team offer copywriting, interviewing, editing and project management services for four issues each year.
Helping local authorities decarbonise
This year, the Economic Development practice has travelled the length of the country, supporting local authorities with their climate action and decarbonisation agendas.
For example, working with Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly, we’ve toured the region engaging with local residents and businesses about the councils’ Local Area Energy Plan. Further north, we continue to support East Riding of Yorkshire Council with public engagement on their Climate Action Plan.
Across both projects, we’ve engaged hundreds of people and helped develop new strategies for how people can use and generate energy.
Water management to economic empowerment
In the water sector, we embarked on an extensive brand development project for the Severn Valley Water Management Scheme, commissioned by the Environment Agency on behalf of the River Severn Partnership.
Our objective was to reconfirm and refine the vision, mission, purpose and values of the scheme, while strengthening brand positioning and identity.
This work was important because the Severn Valley Water Management Scheme is unprecedented in size and scale for the region and has the potential to deliver social, environmental and economic benefits to the community, while developing novel solutions for industry.
Driving growth in the sports and leisure sector
Working with RSK, we identified sports infrastructure as a key area of growth and together set out to develop a new brand and combined offer to take to market. With the help of Brandnew, we’ve developed a service offering that can deliver end-to-end sustainability solutions to the sporting world.
In October, we showcased our capabilities at Sport Positive, a leading industry event, with England rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson as our spokesperson.
Change management, from theory into practice
Back in 2022, we launched C:change, our bespoke methodology to deliver effective change management communications in infrastructure.
In 2023, we turned the theory into practice and delivered a range of change management programmes across construction, energy and water sectors, which are now helping companies shift from reactive to proactive maintenance, adopt digital processes and change corporate culture along the way. You can learn more, here.
Institute of Economic Development best practices
Earlier this year, we partnered with the Institute of Economic Development (IED) to deliver best practice training on stakeholder engagement.
Leveraging our 25-year history of stakeholder engagement, we designed, developed and delivered a bespoke training programme as part of the IED’s accreditation offer. Further training will be rolled out in 2024.
Supporting energy transmission projects
This year, our Infrastructure team supported vital energy transmission projects across the UK. For example, we’ve been supporting clients such as National Grid, Bute Energy and Scottish Power Energy Networks as they develop a UK-wide transmission network to support a net-zero energy system.
Additionally, we’ve organised and run more than 75 in-person and virtual events across Wales, Scotland and England to bring together project developers with local communities and stakeholders to ensure that every voice is heard and listened to during project planning and development.
From the National Grid portfolio alone, we’ve launched consultations for over 300 km of new overhead lines and have engaged directly with over 75,000 people!
Revealing public attitudes to water infrastructure
Through our ground-breaking research on public attitudes to water infrastructure, we’ve developed compelling narratives about the importance of new and fit-for-purpose water infrastructure across the south of England.
As a result, we’ve supported local, often remote, communities to better understand complex technologies, such as desalination systems, while emphasising why reliable water infrastructure is so critical, come rain or shine!
Elevating the importance of solar PV
A key part of our work this year has been building political, community and interest group support for over 30 large-scale solar projects in a difficult and complex policy and stakeholder environment.
Across the solar PV ecosystem, we’ve focused on building a positive decision-making landscape that highlights the benefits of solar for all. In doing so, we’ve helped 13 solar PV clients, including Scottish Power, RWE and Statkraft, progress critical projects that will help in our race to net zero.
Communicating complexity to non-specialists
A notable achievement by our team has been the development of story and digital tools that help non-specialist audiences, such as local community members, better understand the complex technologies that are vital to the energy transition.
Using innovative websites, interactive maps, animations and infographics, we’ve helped companies such as Lighthouse Green Fuels, Hanson and Downing clearly communicate how their technologies work and contribute to the energy transition.
Growing our presence in Scotland, Wales and Ireland
With the addition of new team members, offices and projects, we’ve expanded our infrastructure reach throughout 2023. As we continue to collaborate with the wider RSK Group, we’ve become increasingly involved in renewables, low carbon, water and transport projects across the four corners of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Launching Copper Connect, our political monitoring service
This year we launched our new political monitoring service, Copper Connect, which supplies a weekly roundup of parliamentary activity focused on the renewable energy sector.
Innovative partnership support for Bristol’s City Leap
In the spring, we helped launch Bristol City Leap, an innovative partnership between Bristol City Council and Ameresco that will deliver £500 million of investment in Bristol’s clean energy system over the next five years.
The progress of this partnership was showcased on BBC Points West and in several prominent trade and regional media publications.
Communications support for Innovate UK challenges
Through social media and strategic communication campaigns, we’ve helped amplify the work of several Innovate UK challenges, such as the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge and Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge – both of which play a key role in accelerating the clean growth of UK industries by enabling innovation through investment.
Bigger team; more expertise
As we continue to grow and diversify our service offering, we’ve welcomed four new team members who have added to our media, press and communications expertise. We’ve also significantly expanded our digital communications and social media marketing capabilities.
Sky’s the limit at Padeswood
Throughout 2023, we’ve continued to provide Heidelberg Materials with communications and public affairs support for their plans to install carbon-capture technology at their Padeswood site in North Wales.
A particular highlight was supporting our client during a media visit as the project was showcased on Sky’s The Climate Show with Tom Heap.