The Climate Action Working Group, led by the Advertising Association in partnership with ISBA and the IPA, has launched AdGreen, a new initiative to unite the advertising industry to eliminate the negative environmental impacts of production.

AdGreen is backed at launch by adam&eveDDB, APR (Advertising Production Resources), Havas, MullenLowe Group as part of IPG, Sky, Unilever and WPP, along with the support of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), the Advertising Producers Association (APA), the Association of Photographers (AOP) and Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) who will be coordinating member participation. 

It will be led by industry specialist, Jo Coombes with support from strategy advisor Tricia Duffy, and is a strategic partnership with albert, the BAFTA led sustainability project for the TV and Film Industry. Following the learnings of albert, AdGreen will provide tools, services and expertise to the entire UK advertising production community from 2021, enabling all advertising professionals to improve the way campaign assets are produced for a better climate future.

AdGreen launches with two clear aims: to measure advertising production carbon footprints allowing the project team to understand which activities have the biggest impact, and to help the industry to reduce emissions and to act for a zero carbon / zero waste. It will offer a carbon footprint calculator incorporating global carbon factors from over 140 countries, as well as specialist training, a renewable energy buy-in scheme, and later, certification and a high-quality offsetting scheme, for the advertising community in the UK.

The Advertising Association is actively seeking more partners to accelerate the uptake and impact of AdGreen. All advertisers, agencies and production companies looking to find out more about AdGreen should register their interest at its website. AdGreen is also exploring ways to establish the standard at an international level and welcomes enquiries from interested parties in territories from around the world.

Jo Coombes, Industry Sustainability Lead, AdGreen, said: “We want to build a future- proofed, carbon literate workforce, giving us the opportunity for the highest creative ambition with the lowest carbon impact. Ultimately, AdGreen means everyone producing advertising work will be able to capture and understand their own footprint data; advertisers and advertising agencies will be able to compare that to anonymised benchmarks.”

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association, added: “We are determined our industry does everything in its power to respond to the climate emergency. AdGreen will make it possible for anyone producing ads to be confident they can do it a way that does not impact on the climate – a fundamental change that we have to all make now. Our thanks go to all our founding partners for providing the funding to make this happen.”

Debbie Klein, Group Chief Marketing, Corporate Affairs and People Officer, Sky, said: “Our industry must 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. 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.”

Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever, said: “The consequences of the climate crisis will have a catastrophic impact on our planet and on lives and livelihoods. Urgent action is needed from every corner of every industry to move to a zero-carbon future. Unilever has committed to be a carbon-neutral company by 2030, and to have net-zero emissions from our products by 2039. What we do today is make or break. So 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.”

Mark Read, CEO, WPP, said: “WPP has a responsibility to use our scale and power of creativity to influence society and change behaviour. As founding partners of AdGreen, we’re helping to set a new industry-wide benchmark for a zero carbon and zero waste ad production future that supports clients in achieving their carbon reduction goals and makes green ad production the norm.”

Mat Goff, Joint CEO, adam&eveDDB: “We are excited to be a founding partner of AdGreen. Advertising is all about creating and accelerating behaviour change, so we have a clear responsibility to help the UK economy move towards net zero as fast as it can. While all of us are individually striving to do more, by working together in our respective industries to unite behind initiatives like AdGreen we will have a huge and positive impact.”

Danny Whybrow, SVP EMEA/APAC and member of APR’s Global Leadership Team, said: “As the impacts of climate change become more prevalent and time-sensitive, companies are stepping up to promote sustainability and eco-friendly practices. On-screen, we see it become a focus in creative messaging. Behind the camera, content creators can no longer ignore the impact that production has on the environment. We are proud to support this initiative and help communicate to the industry globally what must be done to improve production practices and create behavioural change towards zero-carbon/zero- waste content creation.

Chris Hirst, Global CEO, Havas Creative, SAID: “The AdGreen initiative is such an important step forward. Without the full picture of the extent of our industry’s carbon footprint, we can’t truly begin to address how we collectively reduce it. This isn’t about a single business or group, the data we gather in this project will give us that picture, and in turn, help us play our part in solving one of the biggest challenges facing us all.”

Helen Bell, COO Unilever, MullenLowe Group, said: “We know that greater actions are needed to tackle the climate crisis. AdGreen is a significant step forward for the advertising film production industry and will make taking positive action easier. MullenLowe and IPG are delighted to be founding partners in this initiative as it will set the industry standard and help us support both our and our Client’s ambitions to make a tangible difference in this area.”

Steve Davies, Chief Executive, Advertising Producers Association, said: “While AdGreen is being established by the UK industry, it will carry data on the world’s most used locations. Much of UK ad production takes place overseas as we continue to be a global hub for production so ultimately it has the potential to become the standard for our industry worldwide which is hugely exciting.”

Kim Knowlton, IPA Production Consultant, said: “The IPA is very pleased to be supporting this cross-industry initiative because many IPA agencies and their production partners have been working with industry specialist Jo Coombes over the last couple of years to try and make productions “greener”. With the development of the Carbon Footprint Calculator, producers will be able to assess the waste and carbon emissions from advertising production and help achieve a zero carbon/zero waste future. Creative problem identified. Creative problem hopefully solved. Together.”

Seamus McGibbon, CEO, Association Of Photographers, said: “The AOP is extremely pleased to be part of this important work to ensure that our sector becomes carbon neutral. We, our members and those working in stills and shortform advertising, look forward to working with the Group and AdGreen to implement changes that have a real effect in delivering our shared ambitions.”

James Best, Chair of the Climate Action Working Group, said: “We face the biggest challenge of our lifetime but there are many ways, often small but important changes, that we can all make to tackle this challenge. We know that our industry is hugely concerned about the climate emergency and want to do everything in their power to avert it. To that end, this launch is will be the first of a series of actions we will be publishing to help everyone in our industry make behaviour changes that collectively have an important impact.”

Anybody interested in the industry’s work around Climate Action should contact the Advertising Association at and can keep up to date on progress at the Climate Action policy page on the Advertising Association’s website.


Jon Creamer

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