Together with Future Super, we started Not Business As Usual, an alliance of companies publicly pledging to allow their employees to protest without fear of retribution.
On 20 September 2019, school students across the world came together joined the #GlobalClimateStrike, a protest movement led by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and aimed at demanding change from the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. Australia’s first fossil-free superannuation fund Future Super wanted to show that this wasn’t a problem kids should face on their own.
Together with Future Super, we started Not Business As Usual, an alliance of companies publicly pledging to allow their employees to protest on 20 September without fear of retribution.
They could take a long lunch, hold a day without meetings or shut up shop for the day. We wanted to help businesses stand in solidarity with the students during the Global Climate Strike, and allow employees to participate without having to choose between the planet and a pay cheque.
Building a campaign of this magnitude required a clear message and call to action, and an ability to speak out in the media. We worked with Future Super to develop the alliance messaging and material, and launched the campaign a fortnight ahead of the strikes with a major campaign in the media, across social and at notbusinessasusual.co, where businesses could sign up.
Launched on 3 September, we began with just 14 companies pledging to be part of the alliance. Over the next two weeks, it gained unstoppable momentum as more and more businesses — from local cafés and small businesses to ASX-listed and global multinational companies — agreed to participate.
By 20 September, nearly 3000 businesses had pledged to be part of the alliance, including Atlassian, Intrepid Travel, KeepCup, Sendle, IRESS and the Wikimedia Foundation, the company behind Wikipedia. Employees walked off the job for several hours, becoming part of the more than 3 million people who marched in support of climate action across the globe.
Across two weeks alone, we generated coverage about Not Business as Usual in 329 media hits across the globe, including NBC, Bloomberg, The Project on Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, The Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Climate change activists Al Gore and Greta Thunberg both got behind the movement, supporting the decisions of company owners globally to let their employees protest and send a clear and strong message to the United Nations.
“Sling & Stone are true collaborators and partners, together we shaped a global campaign and movement to form The Not Business as Usual alliance, businesses standing in solidarity with students who partook in the Global Climate Strike. Their creativity, strategic advice, media knowledge, stakeholder management and general enthusiasm is attributed to shaping the success of the campaign. They know the brand-inside out and have our best interest at hand, they have become a true extension of our team and know how to create a truly memorable and measurable campaign that has shaped this generation.”