Maitland/AMO hires head of sustainability practice from HSBC

Maitland/AMO has appointed HSBC comms figure Ryan Kisiel to head Sustain, the agency’s dedicated sustainability practice.

Maitland/AMO hires head of sustainability practice from HSBC

Kisiel (pictured) joins from HSBC, where he helped launch the bank’s global net-zero commitments and led on sustainable finance media relations. He previously worked at the Department for Work and Pensions and was a news reporter for the Daily Mail for over seven years.

Maitland/AMO said Sustain has been one of its fastest-growing practice areas. Launched in 2018, it handles areas such as ESG report drafting, sustainability consultancy and materiality assessments. Its clients span different sectors, including financial services and retail. Earlier this year it won a brief with Planet Mark, the UK environmental and social consultancy and net zero certification body.

At present, Sustain has two full time and dedicated employeers - Kisiel and senior consultant Charles Withey - although agency partner Sam Turvey also has some general oversight responsibilities. Other Maitland/AMO staff are drawn in for specific tasks or to help with workload.

Maitland/AMO CEO Neil Bennett said: “Ryan has the perfect mix of skills and experience for our growing Sustain practice. He has a strong media background but has also been front and centre over many years of the corporate world’s ambitions to become more sustainable. Working with his Sustain team and communications specialists from across the firm, we are excited about the new services and insight we will be able to share with clients and other organisations.”

The former head of Sustain, Zara de Belder, has moved on to undertake an MBA in Manchester.

Kisiel, most recently senior media relations manager at HSBC, said: “Maitland/AMO was an early mover in creating a dedicated sustainability practice and I have been enthusiastically watching it grow. I’m hugely impressed by the work it is doing to support firms in their transition to net zero and with transparent ESG reporting, and I look forward to building on this in the years ahead.”

His appointment comes amid growth in sustainability and more broader ESG offers at agencies, and an increased focus on the role of businesses in environmental issues during COP26.

Last month, Red Consultancy announced it had launched an offer focused on climate change planning and campaigning for brands. Other agencies announced similar steps.

Speaking to PRWeek following FTI Consulting's Q3 results last month, Strategic Communications CEO Mark McCall cited ESG among its fastest-growing areas.

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