- Ad Net Zero said that the promoting industry is producing mixed leads to efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, according to a recently released review of the worldwide climate motion program’s U.S., U.K. and global supporter base.
- Based on publicly available information and insights shared by Ad Net Zero’s backers, the report reveals that 100% of tech platforms have set each net-zero and near-term reduction targets. Meanwhile, 88% of participating advertisers have set net-zero targets and 100% have set near-term targets.
- However, just 35% of supporting creative and promoting agencies have set net-zero targets, though 54% have set near-term targets. Similarly, only 34% of production firms have set each net-zero and near-term targets, pointing to an imbalance in the extent of commitment across various pockets of the industry.
Ad Net Zero in June issued a requirement that each one of its industry partners set science-based net zero carbon targets inside a 12 months. Using data compiled through September, the group’s latest review shows just how far its partners — and the industry at large — have to go.
“Whilst we take a moment to recognize progress, none of it’s enough. Not even close,” wrote Ad Net Zero Chair Sebastian Munden in a forward to the report. “I urge you to reflect on where your enterprise is within the context of this data and think concerning the impact you may have to change the best way we work and alter the work we make.”
While there have been clear steps made to address the difficulty by brands, the sluggish uptake of standards amongst agencies and production firms is making a ripple effect down the marketing-communications supply chain. The report calls out these laggards, noting that slow adoption by agencies was a major reason for setting the partnership requirements earlier this 12 months.
The report also notes that media owners — only 25% of whom have set net-zero targets — have an outsized responsibility to set and reach those goals. Estimates published by WPP indicated that media planning and buying could account for up to 54% of total emissions across all scopes of its business.
To that end, Ad Net Zero has created a five-point motion plan to help its partners set and achieve their goals. The guide targets five areas of focus to reduce emissions and reach net-zero targets faster:
- Business operations, which incorporates setting and achieving net-zero targets
- Production, particularly by cutting back on travel and transport, which account for probably the most emissions generated of all monitored activities
- Media planning and buying, including creating a typical methodology for measuring emissions from media campaigns.
- Awards and other events through developing partnerships with the main industry groups and award bodies to highlight small carbon footprint campaigns.
- Harnessing promoting’s power to foment widespread consumer behavior change.
The report concluded with a call for the industry to prioritize emission reduction as a complete and a note of disappointment by the low profile of climate change at major industry events and a scarcity of “critical evaluation” of the industry’s impact on the environment.
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