Ecoffectiveness: The missing measure in a climate crisis
For over 40 years, effectiveness studies have developed an almost scientific understanding of how advertising drives growth, profit and other key business metrics. But in the last two years, many major brands have committed to delivering against a new key business metric: reducing greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero. If Net Zero is a key business target, then emissions is a key effectiveness metric.
This sets an unprecedented 21st century challenge for advertising, for which we currently have no effectiveness data, frameworks or insights to learn from: how to increase profitability while reducing emissions to Net Zero?
To answer this question, a new methodology has been launched to establish ‘Ecoffectiveness’ – the missing measure that, if society is to keep global temperature increases to within 1.5 degrees, must be a key element of all effectiveness cases going forward. At the heart of the framework is the invitation for organisations to calculate and report the incremental uplift in greenhouse gas emissions associated with all sales that are attributable to advertising.
The method incorporates three key elements:
- Honest reporting of the incremental uplift in greenhouse gas emissions driven by advertising – to create a core data set and help us measure improvements
- The ‘Return on CO2e’ (the revenue generated for every tonne of CO2 equivalent emitted) – to provide a consistent approach that allows for comparison across sectors and campaigns
- Levers of Ecoffectiveness – a model for identifying where the headroom exists and what methods can be used to reduce impact while maintaining profitability
The methodology was launched at the IPA’s Effworks conference on October 15th using data from the 2018 IPA Effectiveness winners, with a focus on the Grand Prix winning case from Audi. The authors suggested that reducing emissions while maintaining profitability will be the defining effectiveness challenge of the coming decades. They are sharing their work to date as open-source and inviting industry professionals to join the development of the tools and data-set. To find out more or for a copy of the presentation please contact