SHOCKED strengthened professional services firm GHD’s position as an energy thought leader by revealing that the global energy crisis led to a $203 billion hit to energy project investment and decelerated the sector’s net-zero transition plans by an average of six years.


The polycrisis of 2023 placed the energy sector at the nexus of the most severe disruptions impacting society and the planet. From geopolitical conflict to the net-zero imperative, the cost-of-living crisis and supply chain volatility, energy organisations faced some of the greatest shocks in living memory. 

GHD challenged Man Bites Dog to position the global consultancy as a thought leader in the energy space and a trusted industry advisor. The firm needed a campaign that would support client conversations and enable the development of new relationships.

Man Bites Dog identified the opportunity to shift the global conversation from the impact of the crisis on households to its impact on the net-zero transition. We set out to develop a campaign that would champion the perspective of those in the eye of the storm: the C-Suite of the world’s biggest energy companies.


Man Bites Dog embarked on one of the largest studies ever conducted among the energy sector C-suite, representing companies with 68% (7,555GW) of total global electricity capacity and 20,946 petajoules of natural gas capacity across 10 focus geographies. Our sample was made up of senior decision-makers in organisations with operations across the energy supply chain.

Our research revealed the trilemma of shocks impacting the energy sector – the climate challenge, societal pressure and security risks – that must be tackled to improve resiliency. The overwhelming majority of energy leaders (94%) said the current crisis was the most severe their market had ever experienced, whilst CFOs identified a USD203 billion hit to energy project investment levels.

Most worryingly of all, almost half of leaders (47%) reported that the crisis had decelerated their net-zero plans – by an average of six years. With global net-zero ambitions requiring the energy sector to decarbonise first and fast, these findings have serious implications for the wider economy. 

SHOCKED was launched with a suite of content assets, including a high-impact microsite, video and BD toolkit. The campaign was then activated with a coordinated global PR rollout, webinar series and townhall events with some of GHD’s biggest clients. The research also formed the centrepiece of a new podcast series – ‘Clarion Call’ – hosted by GHD Global Future Energy Leader, Dr Tej Gidda.

prospects captured
qualified leads
microsite visits (26% above target)
pieces of media coverage


Reputation: SHOCKED positioned GHD as a thought leader on the state of the energy crisis, raising awareness of the role of resilient infrastructure and the right enabling environment in de-risking the energy transition. In the month after launch, the campaign secured 600 pieces of media coverage across key markets and sectors. GHD Advisory’s Phil Baker was invited to discuss the report findings on the Eureka Report podcast with preeminent business journalist Alan Kohler.

The SHOCKED research debuted at the Reuters Global Energy Transition 2023 event in New York. This enabled GHD to showcase the findings to an international C-suite audience – made up of around 840 key decision-makers from more than 40 countries.

To date, the SHOCKED microsite has had more than 6,500 visits (surpassing targets by 26%), with the hero report and supplementary report being downloaded 800+ times (32% above target).

Relationships: In the months after launch, SHOCKED content led to more than 850 prospects captured and 126 qualified leads. The research ignited conversations with existing industry partners and prospects by providing insight into the energy crisis and, most importantly, potential routes out of it.

GHD took SHOCKED on a client roadshow, using the findings to fuel discussions with key decision-makers in its focus markets. Strong lead generation was also achieved through a series of client webinars, with GHD stakeholders and guests from prominent energy identities across a number of verticals (developers, financiers, industry bodies) discussing the SHOCKED findings. 

GHD’s SHOCKED Forum 2023 event in Melbourne brought together key industry and government leaders to discuss the crucial shift towards a net-zero future, with insights from industry-leading speakers including internationally acclaimed environmentalist Professor Tim Flannery.

Most recently, the GHD Energy team took SHOCKED to the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai. The research findings were used to frame high-level client and industry panel discussions at Climate Action’s Sustainable Innovation Forum, which was attended by business, government, finance and civil society leaders from around the world.

“SHOCKED has given us a powerful platform to promote our Future Energy practice at the time our clients and the wider industry need us most. Since launch, the bespoke market data and insights uncovered by the campaign have helped drive profitable discussions with key clients and prospects across the globe.”
Tej Gidda, Vice-President and Global Future Energy Leader, GHD

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