Brands seek to outline green creds ahead of Copenhagen Summit

LONDON - Brands including Marks & Spencer and EDF are creating marketing campaigns around next week's United Nations Climate change summit in Copenhagen.

The Copenhagen summit, which is due to run from 7-18 December, will be attended by world leaders and focus on securing a deal to lower global carbon emissions. As a measure of the importance of the event and the coverage it will generate, brands have seized the opportunity to run marketing campaigns.

M&S has already run an online campaign inviting employees, brand ambassadors, customers and suppliers to post messages of support via the website for its Plan A sustainability campaign.

The retailer claimed over 5,000 people had placed messages on the site. These were presented in the form of a quilt to Department of Energy and Climate Change minister Joan Ruddock yesterday.

Meanwhile energy provider EDF has launched an advertising campaign to run alongside the summit outlining the company's efforts to become more sustainable and inviting consumers to switch. It focuses on its Team Green Britain campaign.

Later today the Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group on Climate change will present the prime minister with a communiqué pushing for a strong deal in Copenhagen. Specifically it will state the importance of exiting the recession in a low carbon way.

Over 850 companies based in over 50 countries have signed up to the communiqué including UK companies Shell, Unilever, Thames Water and Tesco.

Behind the scenes, however, many companies are using lobbyists to influence or water down a climate change deal. A survey by the US website the Center for Public Integrity recently found that there were four lobbyists working on the idea for every senator.

Despite signing the Prince of Wales' communiqué, Shell has been shortlisted for The Angry Mermaid's award for the brands who call for action against climate change in marketing campaigns but effectively lobby for the opposite. The site is run by environmental campaigners.