“I’m told that people listen to celebrities more than experts, which is ridiculous. But if that’s the case, I want to tell you something…”
That’s Cara Delevingne, the British model and actress, talking to us via her TikTok channel. And what does she want to tell us? “Hmmm. Industrial emissions,” she whispers, while spraying her face with a new beauty product. “That’s what this face mist from Vattenfall is made with.”
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Ms Delevingne then clarifies – in both this TikTok video and an accompanying glitzy advertising campaign for Swedish multinational power company, Vattenfall – that her new face mist is made with “emissions from fossil-free hydrogen; a fuel that emits water instead of carbon dioxide (CO2).” She goes on to explain, in layman terms, the process behind green hydrogen production, and why it has the potential to do much more than produce emissions so clean that they could be sprayed on your face. Green hydrogen has the potential to revolutionise how we power entire industries.
In a separate press release, Vattenfall explains that the face mist in question is made from actual wastewater from the HYBRIT factory, a pilot plant that the company owns together with Swedish steel manufacturer, SSAB, and mining company, LKAB, that uses fossil-free hydrogen in the value chain to produce fossil-free steel.
At first glance, it is easy to dismiss this advertising campaign as a spoof. Cara Delevingne certainly seems to be in on the joke, knowingly poking fun at her roots in the high-fashion industry (she is seen strutting around a mock energy plant in a slinky dress before jumping into a pool of industrial wastewater). And that’s because the campaign is a spoof. Of sorts. A spoof with a serious message. “We’re not getting into the beauty industry”, Vattenfall reassures us. You can’t buy a bottle of this face mist. “It’s a 50 ml bottle of systemic change.”
The message behind the campaign is that green hydrogen has the potential to decarbonise entire industries, and thereby reduce carbon emissions significantly. Ultimately, it can help to bring us closer to fossil-free living within one generation. And if people really do listen to celebrities more than experts, then this campaign is an ingenious way of spreading the word to a wider audience. “I think the tongue-in-cheek way that we’ve tried to make people aware of the subject is really smart”, Delevingne told Harper’s Bazaar. “People approach conversations about the environment and climate change with a lot of fear, and there are so many people who just won’t engage for that reason.”1
Green hydrogen is, of course, a key theme throughout this issue of Global Hydrogen Review. And while we may not have an A-list celebrity onboard to tell you more, we do have a range of articles from experts in the field on topics including green hydrogen project development, PEM electrolysis, how plating solutions can improve the efficiency of electrolysis, and the role of green hydrogen in decarbonising the steel sector. This issue also covers a range of other interesting themes, including infrastructure development, pipeline transportation, hydrogen’s role in the maritime energy transition, and much more.
- STRUNCK, C., ‘“Being a model was taxing on my value system”: Cara Delevingne on eco-activism and fast fashion’, Harper’s Bazaar, (10 May 2023).