As the term ‘climate emergency’ continues to gain traction, while seemingly provoking little meaningful action, Greenhouse calls on the PR industry to take a stand and become part of the solution. Never has there been a more important time for great communicators to get involved to help scale positive climate action.
Following publication of an open letter from Extinction Rebellion urging the communications industry to use its power for good, the Creative Climate Disclosure campaign was born. Greenhouse was the first PR agency to join Futerra and sign up when the campaign launched in July and today we have released our first Climate Disclosure report.
Far too many advertising, marketing, digital and PR agencies are still profiting from promoting industries that are actively contributing to the ecological breakdown that we’re running out of time to mitigate. It’s no longer acceptable for communicators to stand in the shadows. In fact, you make a choice with every brief you accept, every ad you design and every word you write.
The Creative Climate Disclosure campaign hit a chord with some, with over 100 agencies signing the letter and committing to disclose the percentage of their turnover derived from fossil fuel companies and other high carbon clients by the end of the year. If you want to get involved and to sign up click here.
We believe the communications industry has a responsibility and an opportunity to promote a more sustainable way of living, one that serves both people and planet. This belief sits at the very core of our mission, which stems from a deep-rooted commitment to address climate change and its impact on the world’s poorest people.
While we have been refining our own environmental policies for many years, we now see a role for Greenhouse to inspire other agencies to use the power of communications as a force for good – and change the whole industry for the better.
As well as being the first agency signatory to the letter, our climate disclosure report sets out exactly who we do (and who we don’t) work with and how we ensure that ethical practices are embedded in every single aspect of the business.
Ethical Client Criteria
We have a list of criteria that we use to decide whether to work with a new client. We seek to work with businesses that:
- Provide innovative products, services or operating models with the aim and potential to accelerate positive social and environmental change.
- Support activities to protect the environment and avoid activities that have a negative impact on society and/or the environment.
- Have a strong story to tell and are open to sharing their story, by engaging with media, influencers and the industry.
- Are collaborators, interested in partnerships and co-operation to drive and scale change.
- Hold explicit ethical, environmental and social values – individually and as an organisation.
We decline briefs that we believe to be greenwash and regularly turn away clients that don’t meet our criteria, regardless of the budget on offer. It’s one of the ways that we ensure our team walks the walk (as well as talking the talk) and we’re very proud to be associated with our clients – organisations with the ideas, innovation and solutions to drive positive social and environmental change.
Call to Action
Now that we’ve published our Climate Disclosure report, the next step is to encourage other PR agencies to do the same. We want to engage the whole communications industry to actively support a net-zero agenda.
If you want to find out more, come along to a PRCA panel event on Challenging PR Leaders on Sustainability, taking place in London in September. More details to come.
Effective communication is absolutely critical if we are going to accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions. And we need the whole industry to be part of that mission.
Over 800 cities, councils and jurisdictions worldwide have declared a climate emergency – and now is the time to translate the rhetoric into reality. Will you rise to the challenge?
The time is NOW.