Big brands join fight to reduce carbon emissions

Sir%20Terry%20LeahyThe advertising and marketing industry has a major part to play in the fight against climate change, according to some of the country’s most senior business leaders at the launch of a Government-led green campaign.

The three-year campaign aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 25 million tonnes by 2010. Eight of the UK’s leading brands, including Tesco, Marks & Spencer and BSkyB, are among those to have signed up to the "We’re in this Together" scheme, which is being spearheaded by independent body The Climate Group.

The eight companies unveiled a series of products and initiatives to encourage consumers to cut their carbon footprints at the launch of the campaign this week.

Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy says/ "Our customers want to do more, but they need our help. They want to know their individual actions can help and that it’s not just the affluent few that can make a difference. If we can break these barriers down, we can turn the green movement into a mass-market movement."

The retail giant announced it is halving the price of its energy-saving light bulbs in a bid to increase sales from 2 million last year to 10 million in the next 12 months.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Chime Communications chairman Lord Bell, who is a consultant for Sky, says that advertising also has an important role to play. "Agencies can encourage clients to look at their brand reputations within the context of their environmental behaviour and persuade them it would benefit their sales," adds Bell. "They could demonstrate that far from being expensive it’s actually more economic."

B&Q, Barclaycard, British Gas, O2 and Royal & SunAlliance are also backing the "We’re in this Together" scheme, and chief executive of The Climate Group Steve Howard says: "What we need to do is make climate change part of people’s lives and make it attractive for people to be part of the solution."

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