Earth Hour co-founder and CEO steps down after eight years



The co-founder of environmental campaign Earth Hour, Andy Ridley, is stepping down as CEO after eight years with the group, Mumbrella Asia has revealed.

Ridley, who launched Earth Hour in 2007 in collaboration with creative agency Leo Burnett Sydney and media agency Starcom for the World Wildlife Fund, is now considering his options. He was previously comunications manager for WWF Australia for five years until 2007.

“Getting the crowdsourcing element up and running, and encouraging people to go beyond the lights switch-off to get involved in environmental protection projects has been really tough. But now that is happening I feel I’m leaving Earth Hour in good shape,” he said.

Earth Hour , which encourages households and businesses to turn off their lights for one hour to raise awareness about climate change, started in Sydney in 2007, and now 7,000 cities participate in the annual switch-off.

Ridley is now looking at other projects in the crowdsourcing space and the rebranding of sustainability.

“Earth Hour was really about taking an issue that is stuck in the green world and trying to push it into the mainstream. That’s a critical element of sustainability and I’ll be looking at other opportunities around that,” he said.

There is no immediate replacement for Ridley, but with the most recent Earth Hour event only last month, WWF has time to secure a new campaign CEO.
“Luckily that’s not my call, but I wish them all the best,” he said. “It’s like saying goodbye to my baby.”

Commenting on the other partnership involved in Earth Hour, Ridley said: “Leo Burnett has been key to Earth Hour’s success, but the one who has with us all the way through is Starcom. This year, they really started building the experiential side of the campaign. I learned a lot from those guys and the way they’re now looking at the world.”

Earth Hour is currently headquartered in Singapore.

Robin Hicks


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