World’s largest PR firm won’t represent coal producers or climate change ‘deniers’ anymore
Edelman, the world’s largest public relations company, has decided not to continue working with certain environmentally unfriendly companies after receiving negative publicity, the Guardian reports.
Edelman was recently criticized for working with fossil fuel companies and fake front groups that supported a Canadian pipeline project. They have since decided to stop working with coal producers, since they’re the biggest contributors to climate change, and groups that try to “greenwash” the truth and spread misinformation.
Edelman, which grew 8.5% in the 2014-2015 fiscal year according to PR Week, lost a good number of big clients when it made clear its position on climate change. It even became one of the first big firms to implement an internal carbon accounting system and it has worked on multiple global environment campaigns.
However, when asked about other potentially environmentally dangerous clients, Michael Stewart, the president and chief executive in Europe, said, “Right now the only categorical exclusion we have is on climate denial and coal.”
The company has not stated whether they will exclude companies involved in Arctic drilling, those that fight against carbon pollution regulations, or oil and gas producers. The firm has stopped working with some energy clients, but has not indicated whether it was due to falling oil prices.
Either way, the firm has been commended for its latest decision. The Climate Investigations Centre challenged the company last year about its climate change politics. Now the director, Kert Davies, has kind words for Edelman: “It’s a very big deal for the biggest PR company in the world to be shunning coal. It shows that coal’s social licence has been degraded, and that it is affecting industries that do business with big coal.”