Sky and Unilever unite with ad industry to tackle climate change

Sky and Unilever are backing a new initiative encouraging the ad industry to become carbon neutral.

Carbon neutral ad production Sky and Unilever are joining forces with the Advertising Association (AA) to tackle the ad industry’s carbon footprint.

The AA’s Climate Action Working Group is today (9 September) launching AdGreen, a new initiative designed to eliminate the negative environmental impact of advertising production.

From 2021 AdGreen will provide tools, services and expertise to the entire UK ad production community, enabling all advertising professionals to improve the way campaign assets are produced for a better climate future.

The initiative has two clear aims. The first is to measure the carbon footprint of ad production, while the second is to empower the industry to reduce emissions and push for a zero carbon, zero waste future.

AdGreen will provide a carbon footprint calculator incorporating global carbon factors from over 140 countries, specialist training and a renewable energy buy-in scheme, as well as certification and a high-quality offsetting scheme for the UK advertising community. It is hoped the measurement tools will allow the project team to better understand which activities have the biggest carbon impact.

“Urgent action is needed from every corner of every industry to move to a zero-carbon future,” says Unilever CEO Alan Jope.

“We’re delighted to join our peers and other leading organisations to launch AdGreen, to push for real change in advertising production. Now is the time to commit to a fairer, zero-carbon world.”

Urgent action is needed from every corner of every industry to move to a zero-carbon future.

Alan Jope, Unilever

Sky Group’s chief marketing, corporate affairs and people officer, Debbie Klein, is calling on the industry to come together to tackle the urgent climate crisis.

“At Sky, we’ve committed to be net zero carbon by 2030, two decades ahead of the UK Government’s targets. But we also want to encourage others to #GoZero, so I’m delighted that Sky is standing alongside others as a founding member of AdGreen,” she adds.

“Together we can provide a vital platform to share best practice and innovative ways to tackle the climate crisis, because the world can’t wait.”

AdGreen is currently backed by ISBA, IPA and a number of agencies including WPP and Havas, and will be led by industry specialist Jo Coombes with support from strategy advisor Tricia Duffy.

ISBA director general, Phil Smith, tells Marketing Week: “With so many ISBA members already pushing within their businesses and throughout their supply chains to #GoZero, we are constantly struck by their commitment to delivering change. But real change is needed in every quarter, including production.

“The launch of AdGreen enables our members to go further, faster. Allowing them to target change where it can be most impactful in making production greener, promote and share best practice and drive a global standard in the process. Even in these challenging and unusual times, the time for action is now.”

The Climate Action Working Group was launched in January by the AA to develop objectives and make recommendations on how the advertising industry can become carbon neutral.

Energy provider Ovo Energy made a similar commitment in August last year, outlining a number of new measures it was taking to reduce the carbon impact of its marketing. This work has seen the company prioritise digital marketing and no longer use non-digital advertising in public places. Door drops have also been removed from its marketing strategy, while its digital outdoor is powered by renewable energy.



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