Jan 10, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Edelman client review finds climate problems

An illustration of a person holding a magnifying glass over a globe.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Edelman has reviewed its client list through the lens of climate principles unveiled in November, but the PR giant isn't severing any ties despite finding problems — yet.

Why it matters: Edelman, the world's largest PR firm, is a focal point for activist campaigns against the industry's work with fossil fuel clients.

Driving the news: The company reviewed 330+ clients and did a "deep dive" on 20 emissions-intensive ones, CEO Richard Edelman said in a post on Friday.

  • The review showed that some lack a position on the Paris Agreement. It also found clients without emissions data "readily available" and "a few" without net-zero goals.

What's next: The firm is launching client discussions on "pathways forward" and "re-scoping" work to ensure consistency with their principles.

  • "However, we anticipate that we may have to part ways in a few instances," Edelman writes in the post that also added more details to the firm's approach unveiled in November.

The other side: "If Edelman wants to be trusted on climate, they need to drop fossil fuels,” Duncan Meisel, campaign director of the group Clean Creatives, said in a statement.

  • The group tells Axios they'll try to get more of Edelman's sustainability-related clients to pressure the firm for "real action."

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that CEO Richard Edelman wrote Friday's post about the client review, not global head of climate Robert Casamento.

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