Action 3: Curb Emissions from Media Planning & Buying
All media agencies will be encouraged to adopt the IPA Media Futures Group’s Climate Charter, enabling media planning and buying choices to be made with their carbon emissions impact front-of-mind. The Charter is designed to provide the tools and resources to support the transition to a zero-carbon future. We will work towards this becoming an accepted element in media planning for all advertisers as part of the Ad Net Zero plan.
Media owners across all channels have made great strides in reducing the carbon impact of their operations.
Global’s radio transmitters are powered by 99% renewable energy sources. Channel 4 has switched to 100% renewable energy in its London, Manchester and Bristol offices. The Professional Publishers Association (PPA) has supported members by conducting research into environmental credentials and the economic costs of different types of magazine wrapping, including compostable plastic films and paper wraps. The News Media Association (NMA) reports that in 2019 the recycled paper content of UK newspapers was just over 63%, and the combined recycled/certified fibre content ratio stood at 95%. Facebook is working to support their facilities with 100% renewable energy in 2020, and are on track to meet this goal with 86% renewable energy achieved in 2019. In 2018 Google identified more than 170 possible energy-efficiency measures, with more than $13 million in annual savings potential, and in September 2020 they announced that they have eliminated their carbon legacy. And the list goes on.
In the world of digital, DIMPACT will soon make it possible for participating companies to understand their carbon impacts right through to the end user. It is a study backed by a consortium of leading broadcasters, publishers, digital companies and media agencies, to produce the first comprehensive analysis of digital media’s carbon footprint, upstream and down, including its advertising components. This will enable more informed decision-making to reduce the overall carbon footprint of digital services.
But media are not equal when it comes to their carbon impact. The weight and mix chosen for a campaign can make a big difference. Advertisers and their media investment advisors need to know so they can plan their schedules with their carbon footprint in mind.
To that end, the IPA Media Futures Group, which represents the UK’s major media agencies, is asking its members to adopt its Climate Charter. It will include a carbon calculator for media planners and a database holding information on media owners’ sustainability and climate credentials. By signing up to the Charter, media agencies and their clients will be taking a significant step towards addressing the advertising industry’s direct climate impact of running campaigns, and to helping the industry achieve Ad Net Zero.
Alongside practical guidance on reducing the carbon impact of agency operations and the work media agencies produce for clients, the ambition of the Charter is to advance the industry’s sustainability goals, for example through an ongoing programme of research, education and events.
Starting from 2021, we want this commitment to the Climate Charter to become an expected part of clients’ media planning and selection.