San Francisco, CA —
Today ClimateVoice, a year-old non-profit project founded by former Google and Facebook sustainability leader Bill Weihl
, launched a targeted campaign to rally the workforce at the five biggest US Tech firms (Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft) to join the historic battle for pro-climate policy in Washington DC. The 1in5 Campaign
activates employees to urge these companies to use their powerful influence in the climate policy fight — specifically, spending one in five of their lobbying dollars in 2021 to keep global warming below the science-based target of 1.5°C.
“Only Big Tech has the influence and power in Congress to counter the power of Big Oil,” says Weihl, a longtime Tech executive. “Tech employees are deeply concerned about climate, an existential threat to their lives. They’re proud of the leadership their companies have shown in decarbonizing their own operations - and now they expect their companies to show up for the climate policy battle that’s starting in Washington. Our campaign is designed to spur action.”
Despite pro-climate actions in their own operations, these five Tech giants are devoting only 4 percent of their lobbying activity to climate, according to a recent report
from InfluenceMap. “Big Tech companies are some of the most powerful businesses in the world,” says Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), one of the Senate’s leading climate champions. “We urgently need them to show up for this climate fight, and if they hear from enough employees, we hope they will.”
The 1in5 Campaign
calls on companies to increase their lobbying spend on climate — because money is a clear metric that demonstrates commitment, and it will elevate climate to a top-tier lobbying priority. “Companies need to make climate a top lobbying priority. Their priorities are clear when you look at the resources they invest in an issue. But today, Tech is not putting their money and influence where their values are,” says Weihl. “With their multi-million dollar lobbying operations in DC, they can find the resources to go all-in on climate policy. We want to see them step up, and do it now.”
The 1in5 Campaign
has multiple components designed to have a galvanizing impact on Tech employees:
- “Let’s Be Climate Heroes
,” a comic book-inspired digital ad campaign, will reach the Tech workforce, engaging them to sign the 1in5 petition to their company. The digital ad, developed by DC-based agency Well & Lighthouse, uses classic comic book imagery to summon Tech employees to become heroes in the looming climate policy battle. The ad will run on pre-roll, connected TV and social placements.
- A parallel social media campaign engaging Tech influencers, climate experts, and an organic network of supporters at each of the five companies who have already signed on to share content, reach out to colleagues, and build the campaign.
- A dedicated website
supporting the petition drive, an earned media effort to track the campaign’s growth, and an online “leaderboard” comparing total employee petitions at each of the five Tech companies.
“This campaign offers Tech employees who are concerned about climate a specific action they can take,” said Bill Weihl. “1in5 provides thousands of climate-concerned individuals at these top firms the opportunity to get their companies off the sidelines in the upcoming climate debate. We will be watching, and we hope companies step up and use their influence to help enact the bold climate policy we need.”
ClimateVoice, founded in 2020, is a project of Tides Center.