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The UK advertising industry produces around 2m tones of CO2 according to SMG, which has developed ’CarbonTrack’ in partnership with environmental consultants Envido.

The drinks and automotive brand owners, both SMG clients, are to be among the first to measure their marketing carbon footprint in this way.

The methodology, developed using the Carbon Trust toolkit, analyses the environmental impact of each aspect of marketing, for example how different media channels compare, although SMG says media owner specific data will be kept confidential.

Over 100 advertising “suppliers” – from media owners to planners – supplied data to feed into Carbon Track, which fits into internationally recognised guidelines developed by the British Standard Institute.

Carbon Track will allow companies to report on total levels of carbon emissions associated with marketing activities, and enable them to include carbon targets as key performance indicators, according to SMG.

“This will mean advertisers and marketers could make informed and responsible decsions about the campaigns they launch and the media they use,” says Carbon Trust group head of marketing Simeed Kadi.