From green bins and KeepCups, to restoring native forestry and contributing to wind farm technology, we’ve learnt that making change for good isn’t about being perfect, holier than thou, or doing everything at once, it’s simply about taking lots of small steps in the right direction.
As a family company – not just family owned and managed but also an employer of more than 25 families – we have a heightened sense of responsibility to contribute to a society that we are proud to hand on to our children and grandchildren.
In December 2020 Fuller became the first marketing agency in Australia to achieve carbon neutral certification through the Federal Government’s Climate Active Program, and in the same month was also awarded BCorp certification through the global BLab program.
While these are major milestones for us, they are both certifications that will continue to challenge Fuller to stay on its journey of doing good, being better, giving more and taking less.
Here are just a few ways in which Fuller has achieved these certifications, and how we intend to hold on to them, for the good of our people, and our planet.
Climate Active carbon neutral certification was awarded to us after we established in-house sustainability policies, committed to an independent evaluation of our carbon emissions and developed an emissions reduction strategy.
These are some of the things we are doing to reduce our carbon footprint, year on year.
- Annual measurement and reporting of our carbon emissions to maintain Climate Active certification.
- Waste reduction through in-house recycling and composting and a ban on takeaway coffee cups and plastic drink bottles.
- Replacing all lighting in the building with LEDs.
- Switching to a green electricity supplier.
- Reviewing our suppliers and switching to more sustainable products.
- Becoming a partner of Carbon Neutral Adelaide to share our ideas with other businesses.
- Purchase of first electric company vehicle and a commitment to roll all company vehicles over to electric or hybrid by 2023.
- Signing a Climate and Diversity Protection Agreement with sustainability organisation South Pole to manage our carbon offsets.
- Contributing to two carbon offset projects: a tree planting program at the indigenous-led Mt Sandy Conservation Project on the Coorong, and a wind power farm in Taiwan.
- Formation of the “Green Team”, made up of staff volunteers, to keep our environmental initiatives on track and drive new ways of reducing our emissions.
- Staff required to report on what they are doing to reduce their carbon footprint at work and at home, at their annual performance review.
- Providing advice and resources for our clients who would like to become Climate Active certified or adopt more sustainable business practices.
BCorps are ethical businesses that balance purpose with profit. There are 3500 global BCorps and 257 in Australia, including brands such as Patagonia, Aesop and Beyond Bank.
We have had a long history of working with not for profits and social organisations to improve their outcomes so this was a way to formalise our credentials.
In 2019-2020 we undertook a rigorous audit of our financial accounts, management policies around staff, customers and suppliers, and our contributions to the community and the environment. This was independently assessed and scored against a global benchmark of businesses that balance profit with purpose.
While we have always been an employer of choice, we have established some additional ethical initiatives this year as a result of our BCorp certification and to stay on our journey of doing good, being better, giving more and taking less.
- A staff wellness program (including free medical tests and counselling).
- A volunteering program (which mandates three days volunteering per year for each staff member).
- A staff led community service initiative to assist local organisations.
- A commitment to buy locally and sustainably across all areas of company purchasing.
- Increasing, year on year, the amount of work we are doing for underserved communities.
- Development of our first Reconciliation Plan through Reconciliation Australia.
- Growing our pro bono support of multiple not for profit organisations in the arts and community services sectors.
- Encouraging clients to commission local South Australian musicians and artists for their branded content work (we provide a research and licensing service to match clients with relevant artists in partnership with Music SA).
- Providing advice and resources for our clients who would like to become a BCorp or implement more ethical business practices.
If you’re interested in starting your own journey – or are already like us on the track – we’d love to talk about this new and exciting future.
The Fuller Fellowship was established in 2020 by Fuller Brand Communication’s Managing Director and founder, Peter Fuller. Based on the principles of the Churchill Fellowship — ‘learn globally, inspire locally’ — the Fuller Fellowship is a 12-month program for a staff member to undertake a travel and research study in an area of professional interest.
The inaugural recipient of the 2020 Fuller Fellowship was Fuller’s Senior Communications Consultant, Eloise Richards. With an interest in promoting the benefits of inclusion and diversity, Eloise explored how marketing and communications can be used as a tool for social change.
“My Fuller Fellowship journey has involved undertaking research, some revealing interviews with individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds, and a personal journey of reflection as I’ve delved into the exciting, yet sometimes misunderstood topic of inclusive marketing,” she said.
“I wanted to give both our team at Fuller, and the broader industry, the skills and confidence to apply a diversity and inclusion lens to the work we do in an authentic and meaningful way.”
“My hope is that this guide will encourage our profession to move beyond simply ‘ticking the diversity box’, and instead, genuinely elevate the stories and voices of people who are marginalised or underrepresented within our communities, to influence positive social change.”
The 2021 Fellow is Fuller’s Lead Web Developer, Marko Rapaic.