Action 2: Curb Emissions from Advertising Production
All agencies and production companies – with client support – will be encouraged to commit to zero waste/zero carbon production. AdGreen, an advertising production sustainability initiative, will provide information and tools to support the industry in this transition. Ad Net Zero will work with AdGreen to promote widespread use of these resources by 2023.
Like other aspects of advertising, motion and stills advertising production can be carbon-intensive processes, particularly location shoots with high levels of travel, hospitality, and complex supply chains. While measurement is relatively limited at this stage, initial findings indicate that an international location shoot could generate over 100 tonnes of CO2e.31
albert – Tackling Emissions in Broadcast Productions
UK broadcasters have developed a comprehensive and effective approach to reducing carbon emissions in the form of albert, the authority on environmental sustainability for film and TV production launched in 2011 and hosted by BAFTA . 32 An industry funded initiative, albert, provides free tools, training and resources for film and TV productions to measure and reduce their carbon footprints and waste. albert also seeks to encourage and enable the creation of content that will inspire screen audiences to act more sustainably. In 2019 an average of 9.2 tonnes of CO2e was emitted in the production of one broadcast hour of UK television, with most of the impacts estimated to be generated by people transport, followed by accommodation and the production office.
The time has come for the whole advertising commercials and stills production sector to follow suit. As an industry, we are conscious of the significant environmental impact of advertising production, with respondents to Credos’ survey of people working in the industry believing production of advertising to be the third biggest source of UK advertising industry emissions, after public consumption influenced by advertising and business travel.33
A key component in the Ad Net Zero toolbox will support the production community in uniting for a zero carbon/zero waste industry. AdGreen was launched in September 2020 (backed by a consortium including adam&eveDDB, APR (Advertising Production Resources), Havas, MullenLowe Group as part of IPG, Unilever, Sky, Publicis Groupe and WPP, supported by the APA, IPA, AOP and ISBA, and administered by a dedicated team at the Advertising Association.34 It will provide tools and resources to support the transition to more sustainable advertising production.
AdGreen launches with two clear aims: to measure advertising production carbon footprints allowing project teams to understand which activities have the biggest impact, and to empower the industry to reduce emissions and move to zero carbon / zero waste. Its tools will be free at the point of use, and will offer a carbon calculator , specialist training, and a renewable energy buy-in scheme, with certification and a high-quality offsetting scheme coming later.
Learnings from albert
Carbon Literacy Through Training
According to data gathered by albert, those working in the broadcast production industry who undertake the sustainable production certification to reduce their carbon footprint do so by an average of 15%.35 It would therefore be reasonable to expect similar carbon literacy training, which the AdGreen initiative will provide, would lead to reductions in emissions from advertising productions.
albert has found that simply by switching to a renewable energy provider, productions can reduce their carbon footprint by almost a quarter.36 In 2017 albert helped 25 companies move to affordable and renewable energy tariffs with its group purchasing scheme, saving a total of 300 tonnes of CO2.37. AdGreen will provide the same group purchasing mechanism for the advertising industry through the Creative Energy scheme, providing an easy way for businesses to switch their energy provider and significantly reduce carbon emissions.