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Australian Bushfires: The alva Reputation Case Study

Have the Australian bushfires made coal reputationally toxic for business?

The start of 2020 has been dominated by the tragic daily scenes of the Australian bushfires, which have captured the sympathies and concerns of people across the globe.

Amid the outpouring of emotion has been recurrent criticism of the Australian government and its Prime Minister Scott Morrison for its handling of the crisis. While initial antagonism focused on the government’s downplaying of the situation, Mr Morrison’s decision to travel to Hawaii on vacation as well as perceived underfunding of the Fire Rescue service, a persistent secondary complaint has targeted the government’s stance on climate change and in particular, its perceived protection and support of the country’s coal industry.

The combination of the coal sector’s pre-existing negative reputation and the unprecedented scale of the 2019/2020 Australian bushfires have been seen by some NGOs and industry commentators as a tipping point for the industry; the moment at which it became socially toxic for businesses to be involved or associated with it.