As the world grapples with the harsh realities of climate change, finding innovative ways to engage the public and foster a deeper understanding of the environmental crisis, we face becomes crucial. Extended reality (XR) technologies like Holoscribe®, which encompass virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), offer an immersive, interactive, and highly effective method for raising awareness about climate change. By leveraging XR technologies, marketers can educate the masses about the pressing need for climate action while ensuring that sustainability remains a top priority for consumers and businesses. This article explores the role of XR in driving climate change awareness and highlights notable projects that have successfully utilised XR to promote climate action.

Extended Reality: A New Frontier in Climate Education

Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term for all real and virtual environments created by computer graphics and wearables. This includes virtual reality (VR), which provides a fully immersive digital environment; augmented reality (AR), which overlays digital content onto the real world; and mixed reality (MR), which combines elements of both VR and AR to create an interactive space where digital and physical objects co-exist.

As climate change becomes an increasingly urgent issue, XR technologies offer a unique opportunity to educate the public in an engaging and impactful manner. By providing immersive experiences that transport users to the frontlines of climate change, XR enables individuals to witness the consequences of environmental degradation firsthand, fostering empathy and promoting tangible climate action.

Moreover, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance XR experiences, enabling personalised and adaptive content that caters to individual needs and preferences. By integrating customer data platforms (CDP) with XR technologies, marketers can develop targeted campaigns that effectively drive climate change awareness and action.

XR Projects Championing Climate Action

View Garu Green Christmas by Oxfam on Holoscribe®

Several XR projects have already demonstrated the potential of extended reality in raising awareness about climate change:

‘This is Climate Change’ – A VR Documentary Series Created by Danfung Dennis and Eric Strauss, ‘This is Climate Change’ is a four-part virtual reality documentary series that transports viewers to the frontlines of climate change, offering a visceral and powerful experience of the environmental crisis. The series showcases the devastating effects of climate change on diverse ecosystems, such as the melting Arctic ice, the burning Amazon rainforest, and the drought-stricken regions of Somalia. By immersing viewers in these environments, ‘This is Climate Change‘ fosters a deeper connection to the issue, prompting individuals to take climate action.

 ‘IMMERSE’ – An Interactive Climate Change Experience Developed by environmental organisation Conservation International, ‘IMMERSE’ is an augmented reality app that enables users to explore the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and communities around the world. The app utilises a combination of 360-degree video and AR technology to create an interactive experience that encourages users to make more sustainable choices in their daily lives.

‘The Crystal’-  Siemens’ ‘The Crystal‘ is an interactive exhibition utilising mixed reality to educate visitors about sustainable urban living and the importance of addressing climate change. The exhibition features a range of XR experiences, such as a virtual city tour and an augmented reality treasure hunt, which engage visitors in learning about sustainable solutions and promoting climate action. 

The Role of Marketers in XR Climate Education

As XR technologies continue to advance, marketing professionals and decision-makers have a vital role in harnessing the power of extended reality to raise awareness about climate change.

By integrating XR into marketing strategies and campaigns, marketers can:

    1. Create immersive and engaging experiences: XR technologies enable marketers to develop compelling, interactive content that captures users’ attention and encourages them to explore the impacts of climate change on a deeper level. By offering a firsthand experience of the environmental crisis, XR helps individuals grasp the urgency of climate action and adopt more sustainable behaviours.
    2. Personalise and adapt content: By incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) into XR experiences, marketers can create personalised content that resonates with individual users. Using customer data platforms (CDP) like Wondaris®  allows marketers to develop targeted campaigns that promote climate change awareness and foster behavioural change.
    3. Encourage collaboration and dialogue: XR technologies offer unique opportunities for users to connect and collaborate with others, facilitating discussion and knowledge exchange around climate change issues. By creating shared XR experiences, marketers can foster a sense of community and promote collective action towards a more sustainable future.
    4. Drive sustainable brand values: Marketers can leverage XR technologies to showcase their company’s sustainability and climate action commitment. By integrating XR into marketing campaigns, businesses can demonstrate their dedication to addressing the environmental crisis and attract consumers who share similar values.
    5. Automate to reduce costs and environmental impact: By automating marketing processes and utilising XR technologies, marketers can cut costs and reduce their environmental impact. This approach helps businesses remain competitive while ensuring that sustainability remains a top priority for both consumers and the organisation.

In conclusion, extended reality (XR) technologies hold immense potential to raise awareness about climate change and drive climate action. By utilising XR in marketing campaigns and initiatives, businesses can educate the public about the environmental crisis, foster empathy, and encourage sustainable behaviours. As the world continues to confront the challenges posed by climate change, leveraging XR technologies will be crucial for promoting a more sustainable future.