History of Earth Hour – March 29

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Earth Hour 2014_0

ANDY RIDLEY

Andy is the CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour, the global environmental movement initiated in Sydney, Australia in 2007 as a campaign for action on climate change.

Six years ago, we started this project – Earth Hour. It has grown to become the world’s largest mass participation event in history. From 1 to over 7,000 cities. From 1 country to 7 continents. From 2 million to hundreds of millions of people.

Earth Hour’s mission is three-fold. To bring people together through a symbolic hour-long event. To galvanize people into taking action beyond the hour. And to create an interconnected global community sharing the mutual goal of creating a sustainable future for the planet.

Earth Hour has swept the globe, drawing together hundreds of millions of people in 152 countries and territories spanning every continent.

You can get in touch with Andy at andy@earthhour.org. To find out more, watch the videos and read his story below.

REIMAGINING SUSTAINABILITY AT TEDXWWF

Andy candidly shares his highs and lows during the campaign’s journey. Learn how anyone can use this global platform as a tool to help create environmental change.

GLOBAL LAUNCH KEYNOTE: 2013

Andy speaks on the evolution of Earth Hour from a single city event in 2007 to the global movement it is today.

He shares some of the most inspiring and empowering stories that taking environmental action beyond the hour.

Andy speaks on the evolution of Earth Hour from a single city event in 2007 to the global movement it is today. He shares some of the most inspiring and empowering stories that taking environmental action beyond the hour.

ANDY’S STORY

Born in Norwich, England, Andy moved to Sydney in 2002, becoming an Australian citizen in 2009. Prior to settling in Australia, Andy left Norwich – via an honours degree in Modern Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University – for the bright lights of London, where he headed up the special projects team for the Prince’s Trust, working on a number of UK charity campaigns including the very successful ‘Party in the Park’.

An avid scuba diver, Andy was drawn to Australia by the promise of some of the world’s most spectacular coral reefs and marine wildlife sanctuaries. Landing the role as Communications Director with WWF Australia, he worked on major conservation campaigns to protect the Great Barrier Reef, Southern Ocean and Coral Sea, pristine marine wilderness areas threatened by the effects of global warming.

In 2004, inspired by the idea of a campaign to engage everyday people and businesses in the climate change debate through a simple action, Andy initiated a think tank between Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media, forming a partnership to deliver a ‘lights out’ campaign, which would later become known as Earth Hour.

Andy’s vision came to fruition on 31 March 2007, when over two million people and 2,000 businesses in Sydney switched off their lights for the inaugural Earth Hour. By 2010 the open-source nature of the Earth Hour message had swept the globe, and by 2012, hundreds of millions of people in over 7,000 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories on every continent were taking part in the world’s largest ever voluntary action.

In addition to individual support, Earth Hour garnered the backing of tens of thousands of businesses, including Google, Blackberry, HSBC, IKEA, Nickelodeon, PwC and many other multinationals. Earth Hour also attracted support from governments at all levels and high profile global ambassadors including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In the space of three short years, Andy’s inspiration, led by WWF in partnership with Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media, had gone from a one-city initiative to a global phenomenon.

Earth Hour has been supported by hundreds of media organizations worldwide including international outlets such as TIME Magazine, CNN, the Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel to help spread Earth Hour’s message of hope and action for a better, healthier world to a global audience.

Earth Hour has also been lauded for its ingenuity, vision and reach, receiving MTV’s Good Karma Award, The Gold Banksia Award (Australia’s premier environmental honour) and the Cannes Titanium Lion, amongst a host of international accolades.

Andy has recently relocated to Singapore with his wife – zoologist and author Dr Tammie Matson and their sons, four-year-old Solo and three-month-old Shepard. He continues to lead Earth Hour’s global operations from its new headquarters in Singapore.

Earth Hour - (c) EWS-WWF candlesJoin millions of people across the world who will switch lights off for an hour on 29 March at 8:30 pm – to raise awareness for the planet. CREATE YOUR OWN EVENT

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