Working with brands and their agencies on sustainability, I’ve come to realise that our biggest barrier to progress on sustainability isn’t consumer behaviour, political inertia or market structures. It’s something less complicated, more insidious and cruelly ironic. It’s the enemy within: CSR!
That loose collection of terminologies, concepts and examples that has created the illusion of a distinct discipline, detached from the cut-and-thrust of business and brand; that ominous acronym, in many circles synonymous with greenwash, which has facilitated a tick box mentality based on compliance and reputation management.
Our founding Director, Steven Johnson grew up on Shadsworth, the subject of last night’s Panorama documentary on BBC1. He dedicated his career to social change as a result. Here he discusses what was so wrong with the BBC’s portrayal.
I grew up on Shadsworth. My mum still lives there (a few doors down from one of the families featured last night), as does my sister, her husband and my nieces and nephews. As a direct result of this experience, I’ve dedicated my career to positive social change.
In the run up to the D&AD White Pencil Symposium and awards evening on the 27th November, our Director, Steven Johnson was asked to write a piece for Creative Review outlining the significance of social change and sustainability for the advertising and creative industries. Part 1 of the article was published in Creative Review on 18 September, with the second available on the D&AD website. This post combines the full text from both parts.