Agencies and environmental leaders unite against fossil fuels

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Leading environment and social justice groups, the Australian Conservation Foundation, 350.org and Uniting have joined top creative agencies, Brains, Compass Studio, Republic of Everyone, The Bravery, Christopher Doyle, Fifty Acres, Edge, Analog Folk, 303 MullenLowe and many more, to declare they won’t promote fossil fuels.

They are some of the 66 organisations and 280 individuals who have declared for the climate since Comms Declare began in March 2020.

Individual members include science broadcaster, Lee Constable, film-maker Damon Gameau and comedian Rod Quantock, OAM.

Members of Comms Declare vow that they will not promote:

  • the growth of fossil fuels
  • high greenhouse gas pollution as ‘business as usual’
  • deception, distraction or spin around science or climate actions.

“Fossil fuels are the new tobacco. Agencies that align their values with companies that are profiting from environmental damage will lose their best staff as well as clients that want a climate-friendly supply chain,” said Comms Declare co-founder, Belinda Noble.

“The ground has shifted. The creative industries must move away from clients that are contributing to climate breakdown, for the sake of the planet, their reputations and bottom line,” she added.

Comms Declare sent a survey to 200 of the top Australian agencies and of the 77 that responded, 87% agreed climate action is important to attract employees, 67% were aligning business strategy with climate action and 67% were committed to net zero emissions by 2040.

A quarter had worked to promote fossil fuel companies, or energy companies that burn fossil fuels, but 16% were planning to reduce that work.

Around half of all agencies ruled out promoting coal, oil and gas companies including Bravus (Adani) and ExxonMobil.

Claire Maloney, Director of The Bravery, said, “As an agency whose mantra and mandate is to work with brands, businesses, organisations and government dedicated to making a positive difference to people and the planet, I’d love to see as many agencies and individuals in our sector as possible join the fight for a better future – to be aware, declare and most importantly ACT – as if our lives and livelihoods depend on it.”

Dof Dickinson from BRAINS said, “BRAINS is fully committed to sustainable business practice in our own agencies, as well as refusing to work on any advertising which would impact Australia’s transition to a decarbonised economy.”

Jo Scard from Fifty Acres said, “Fifty Acres is a for-good agency and Australia’s first virtual communications and engagement agency, all staff work from home keeping our carbon emissions low and our costs down which is a great dividend for not-for-profit clients, and the climate. Thanks Comms Declare for leading this campaign across our industry.”

Luke Dean-Weymark co-founder of Compass Creative said, “The climate crisis is here, and we all have to play an integral role in reducing global emissions. At Compass, we truly believe that through positive marketing and communications activity, we can shift mass consumer sentiment and buying behaviour away from fossil fuels, leading to the collapse of this destructive, polluting industry. Having the opportunity to unite with our peers in the marketing and communications sector to take a stance against the promotion of fossil fuels, aligns seamlessly with our values as a Certified B Corp, certified carbon neutral, PR and digital marketing agency.”

Comms Declare is lobbying industry groups to act on climate concerns and names the annual Climate Comms Champion award for the country’s most climate-friendly agency.

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