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Tactical
Stakeholder
Engagement

UK Pellet Council: Biomass Heat Works!

Brief

To create, develop and deliver a highly targeted, ongoing public affairs/Government relations and stakeholder engagement campaign on behalf of the UK’s wood pellet industry to fully position biomass as an integral, low carbon solution within net zero policy (specifically, for rural heat decarbonisation strategy).

Challenge

Rural off-grid buildings are amongst the highest users of fossil fuels for heating. Approximately 1.45m UK homes (possibly up to 1.9m) and 200,000 commercial businesses rely on oil, gas and LPG due to property age, type, access to networks, energy efficiency costs and their remote and/or challenging locations.

Biomass (wood fuel) is proven to be the most suitable, fit-for-purpose, low carbon alternative for rural off-grid areas, generating more jobs than any other renewable technology. However, closure of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in 2021 meant there was no longer an incentive for rural homeowners to keep using sustainable biomass despite the UK’s net zero and climate change ambitions, instead possibly converting back to fossil fuel use. The industry faced a significant risk of collapse and loss of jobs if immediate action was not taken.

Fast forward, and recent political instability within Government (as well as other external factors outside of the industry’s control) has called for highly proactive activities to navigate a rapidly changing wood pellet market and global energy crisis, growing climate change concerns and a sharp increase in the cost of living.

Strategy

A tactical, highly-targeted, stakeholder and public affairs strategy was needed to engage with the highest level of Government. This was to inform, educate and help deliver a dedicated rural off-grid policy supporting biomass for heating within a renewable energy mix, sustaining a highly successful, circular rural economy.

Audiences

UK Government (key political figures and departments including Secretaries of State, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero – formerly the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Department for International Trade and HM Treasury).

Devolved UK governments (Scottish Parliament, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Assembly).

Cross party MPs (Conservative Party, Labour Party and Liberal Democrats), special advisors, policy makers, parliamentary committees and influencer groups, industry leaders, business groups, associated trade bodies, environmental groups, regional development agencies, national, international and trade media, and end consumers.

Activities

  • Public affairs
  • Government relations
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Strategic communications
  • Public relations
  • Crisis communications
  • Media relations
  • Creative design