Words Have Power - Ethical Policy

For more than a decade, my work as a voice artist has been guided by an 'Ethical Voice' policy. Putting my feelings into words has made it easier to steer away from projects that conflict with my deepest values.

Over the years, I've also become involved in copywriting projects that celebrate inspiring, progressive brands. It's work I love and I'm excited that opportunities keep coming. However, as our environmental and humanitarian crises escalate on all fronts, many of us feel compelled to ask serious questions about where to draw the line. How can we recognise when we're blurring boundaries, compromising our ethics, no longer staying true to our word? After all, a desire to collaborate with leading creatives and lovable brands, along with the basic need to make a living, can result in any of us drifting away from our core values. Yet, the fact remains that words have power - whether spoken or written - and our personal career choices have an impact on people and planet.

A recent article published by It's Nice That explains it best.

'As creative professionals, we have the power of persuasion in our hands, and with that power comes a responsibility. By regularly persuading people to buy into unsustainable products and ideas, we are complicit – either knowingly or unknowingly – in the climate emergency.

‘When our skills bring commercial success to organisations in the business of selling fast fashion, petrol-engined anything, technology that becomes obsolete faster than you can say the word “Alexa”, air travel, imported food, packaged food and drink, all things plastic, single-use anything...it comes at a societal cost. Which gives us a simple choice: we can choose or refuse to promote these products.' Read the full article here.

With this in mind, I've signed two pledges - Creative Climate Disclosure and Voice For The Planet. Also, I've done some reflecting and revising to help me keep my word. All of my work - as a voice artist, writer, and creative producer - is now anchored to this ethical policy. 


Fossil Fuels and Nuclear
This obviously isn't a clear cut issue. Yet, examples of corporate complicity by big fossil fuel brands in oppressive regimes, human rights abuses and destruction of our environment suggest there's a moral issue with our dependence on this resource. With this in mind, I wish to promote responsible, sustainable alternatives to the destructive extraction of fossil fuels.  Also, the devastating effects of the decades-old Chernobyl disaster are still being felt. So, I won't directly promote nuclear energy while I remain unconvinced of its safety.

Planet Unfriendly Banks and Building Societies
I prefer not to promote banks which invest in destructive industries like fossil fuels (eg Canadian tar sands) and arms production. On the other hand, I LOVE to support those which promote a clear, progressive ethical policy - eg The Cooperative Bank and Triodos.

Planet Unfriendly Beauty, Household and Food Products
There are so many fantastic brands out there and I especially love to voice for those promoting earth friendly, free range, organic, vegan, and cruelty free products or services. 

I also choose to be a voice for brands and businesses offering refills, recycled plastic or sustainable alternatives to plastic: vegware (where proper composting facilities exist), infinitely recyclable aluminium, glass, and sustainably sourced paper. 

Plastic Pandemic
It's worth noting that in 55 years, only 9% of plastic has been recycled. Also, while plastic producers claim the situation is improving, we do not currently have the infrastructure to provide a significant solution. After minimal use, most plastics still pour into landfill - some of ours is shipped abroad - where it breaks down, pollutes the air, and leaches into our oceans.   

So, I won't promote items that are excessively packaged in single-use or disposable plastic, if there is an available alternative, and/or the product is a luxury item. Learn more about the plastic pandemic at Greenpeace.

Militarism and Arms Industry
War. What is it good for....? You probably know the song. Aside from tricky moral debates, I feel uncomfortable with military recruitment ads which attract potential new recruits by highlighting exciting career incentives  - travel, new skills, salary - without giving serious attention to the devastating realities and repercussions of war. I also don't wish to promote militarism or the arms trade and wherever possible, aim to support pro-peace, practical, diplomatic activism.

The Last Word...
Thankfully, step by step, the list of amazing ethical products, services and organisations is growing - along with support for individuals and agencies who are speaking up for our oceans, planet, and humanity.

See more at Creative Climate Disclosure and Voice For The Planet and this article in The Drum.

Meanwhile, I'll continue to question my ethical policy based on new research or information. Thank you again for visiting!  

Disclaimer: Nobody's perfect but together we can create a ripple effect...

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