WPP, Publicis Groupe, Unilever, Google, Facebook, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky are among a long list of advertising companies to have been revealed as supporters of Ad Net Zero, the ad industry initiative to respond to the climate crisis caused by CO2 emissions.
The supporters met as a collective for the first time this month (February), in a meeting chaired by Sebastian Munden, executive vice-president and general manager, Unilever UK & Ireland, to drive the activation of the action plan that was laid out in late 2020.
Supporters of the plan, led by the Advertising Association, ISBA and IPA, have all made a contribution to help the UK advertising industry achieve a net zero target by the end of 2030, through funding, specialist expertise and resourcing.
Working groups have been formed to make "rapid progress". Experts will focus on tracking carbon emissions from ad business operations, reducing emissions from advertising productions, reducing emissions from media choices, "greening up" the industry's awards and events, and using advertising's positive influence.
"As a collective, our ambition is to set our industry on a clear path to net zero with immediate actions to measure, track and reduce the carbon impact of the way our industry operates," Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the Advertising Association, said.
"We will also be focusing on how UK advertising's creativity can support the rapid shifts in consumer behaviour needed to address the climate emergency that we all face."
The full list of supporters is: Accenture Interactive; APA; APRCO; Campaign Collective/PRCA; Channel 4; Coffee and TV; Dentsu; Direct Line; DMA; Droga5; E.ON; Facebook; Google; The Guardian; Hallam; Havas; IAB UK; IPA; ISBA; ITV; JCDecaux UK; Karmarama; The Mill; Nexus; Omnicom Media Group; Park Village; PPA; Publicis Groupe; Rock Kitchen Harris; Rothco; Royal Mail; Sky; St Luke's; STV; Unilever; Wieden & Kennedy; and WPP.
In addition, Google has joined the AdGreen consortium in support of the zero-carbon/zero-waste ad production standard.
Ad Net Zero was launched in 2020 following the Advertising Association's Climate Action Group report that recommended cross-industry action was needed to address the climate crisis.
The aim is that, by working together, supporters will drive carbon-curbing policies throughout the advertising ecosystem and will strengthen and extend the sector's response to a shared challenge.
Other initiatives from within the industry in the past year have included the launch of "Ecoffectiveness", a metric that allows advertisers and agencies to assess the "return on CO2e" of a campaign, thus maximising profit while minimising environmental impact.