Earth Hour co-founder Andy Ridley leaves WWF

Andy RidleyAndy Ridley, the co-founder of WWF’s eight year-old environmental campaign Earth Hour, is leaving the green group, Mumbrella can reveal.

Ridley, who launched Earth Hour in 2007 in collaboration with ad agency Leo Burnett Sydney and media agency Starcom, is now considering his options after stepping down as co-founder and CEO of Earth Hour, which is now headquartered in Singapore.

“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 told Mumbrella.

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.”

Before taking on the role of running Earth Hour in 2007, Ridley was communications director of WWF Australia.

Earth Hour started in Sydney in 2007, and now 7,000 cities participate in the annual switch-off. In an interview last month, WWF’s communications director Sourav Roy defended against the critics who believe that Earth Hour is running out of steam.


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