Ad Net Zero, the global climate action program for the advertising industry, has released a review highlighting the sector’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. The findings, based on information from Ad Net Zero’s US, UK, and global supporters, reveal a mixed outcome in the pursuit of sustainability goals.
The review indicates that tech platforms are leading the way, with all platforms setting both net-zero and near-term reduction targets, showcasing a strong commitment to carbon neutrality. On the advertiser front, the majority of participating advertisers, 88%, have established net-zero targets, with 100% setting near-term goals, indicating a positive trajectory in aligning advertising practices with sustainability objectives.
However, challenges persist in creative and advertising agencies, with only 35% setting net-zero targets. Similarly, production companies are lagging, with just 34% adopting both net-zero and near-term goals. The review identifies a notable gap in commitment among these entities.
While 25% of media owners have set net-zero targets, there is a call for greater responsibility, considering their significant impact on emissions, as estimated by industry data.
To address these challenges and expedite carbon reduction efforts, Ad Net Zero has introduced a five-point action plan. This includes encouraging the setting and achievement of net-zero targets in business operations, emphasizing emission reduction in production efficiency (especially in travel and transport), developing standardized methods for measuring emissions from media campaigns in media planning and buying, collaborating with industry groups and award bodies to highlight low-carbon campaigns during awards and events in industry recognition, and leveraging advertising’s influence to drive widespread consumer behavior change in behavioral change.
In conclusion, the report calls for a collective commitment from the advertising industry to prioritize emission reduction. It also highlights the need for increased awareness of climate change at industry events and a critical evaluation of the sector’s environmental impact.
When it comes to ad-based carbon emission reduction, media investment firm GroupM, under the ownership of WPP, took a big step last year and launched a comprehensive global framework.