…Turns out, when you make fuel from thin air, it’s global news

With global warming being one of the greatest challenges of our time, it’s imperative that we (society, the media, industry, and Yulu) celebrate and champion climate change breakthroughs by pushing the most remarkable and innovative climate change solutions out on the front pages of media outlets everywhere…including, by popular vote, the frontpage of Reddit (65k votes to be exact).

When Carbon Engineering (CE) initially reached out to Yulu to develop and execute a strategic communications plan that would amplify its scalable solution for removing CO₂ from the atmosphere, we saw the opportunity (and responsibility) to be part of something truly world changing.

While it may take years to track the environmental impact of CE’s PR launch, the role Yulu played in building CE’s name and influence within the clean energy and climate change space was notable and immediate: within the first month of our official launch, CE’s story and technology was reported on in more than 400 media outlets, spanned 25 countries, reached more than 1.9 billion people worldwide, and yielded strong investor interest.

THE CHALLENGE

CE’s scalable and cost-effective solution for removing CO₂ from the air and converting it into fuel can easily go down as one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs in climate change in the last decade, yet the company was largely unknown, particularly in the energy sector.

This eight year old company, backed by Bill Gates and Murray Edwards, was predominantly seen as an R&D company, despite removing CO₂ from the air and converting it into fuel at its pilot plant every day.

CE engaged Yulu to raise the company’s profile internationally, communicate its position as the global leader in carbon capture at scale, and support the company in reaching its aggressive funding goals.

THE STRATEGY

Yulu recognized the communications potential for Carbon Engineering, and the compelling and capturing narrative that could be developed around the company’s exponential growth and innovation.

The timely hook for the launch was new research, which proved CO₂ can be removed from the air for less than $100USD per ton using CE’s Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology. With $100USD per ton considered the threshold for making carbon capture cost-effective, this landmark research put CE’s DAC technology on the map as a feasible solution to climate change for the first time.

Yulu took a strategic approach to the launch, recognizing the opportunity to make international headlines on- and off-line. One consideration was how we could bring this success story to life and demonstrate the work, thinking, technology and tangible impact behind the narrative. Creating stunning drone footage and prioritizing TV interviews helped illustrate the unique plant, teamwork and operations that take place every day in Squamish, British Columbia, while being able to provide media with memorable and visually appealing content.

Yulu embargo-pitched top tier media including Reuters, Bloomberg, Canadian Press, BBC, and The Atlantic to ensure there was a host of quality coverage on launch day. Once the embargo lifted, the story was pitched across multiple markets and went far and wide from academic and trade outlets to international business and environmental pages.

RESULTS & IMPACT

CE’s story was featured in 20 media outlets within one hour and 150 media outlets by the end of the first day. This included stories in top tier publications such as The Economist, The Atlantic, Globe and Mail, National Geographic, BBC World, Nature and Boston Globe.

Within five hours, the story was the most read news piece on BBC World, and listed as the top story of the day. It also ranked fourth on Reddit, with the thread having 65,000 votes and 2,700 comments at the last count.

Four wire services featured the story, including Canadian Press, Bloomberg, Reuters and E&E News, and these syndicated widely, landing the story in Financial Post and New York Times among others.

This widespread coverage, coupled with further proactive pitching, fuelled the story further – with the topic dominating headlines for nearly a week post launch. Broadcast interviews were lined up in real time, featuring on TV stations including Global TV, CTV Toronto and BNN.

Radio and podcast interviews also took place in multiple markets including UK (Talk Radio, Naked Scientist, Future Intelligence), US (Freakonomics, KCBS Radio, Texas Standard), Russia (Sputnik radio) and Austria.

Within two weeks, the story was featured in more than 30 markets, 250 media outlets, and led to cold calls from potential partners and investors to CE directly.