Learning Lessons from the push to reduce adland's carbon footprint

AdGreen’s Annual Review calls for greater adoption of sustainable approaches to ad production, so what's been the biggest take-out so far?

By Creative Salon

Adland still has a long way to go before it properly addresses the opportunities to reduce its carbon footprint when it comes to ad production.

AdGreen released its first Annual Review this week and called for advertisers, agencies, and production companies to increase their data analysis, to collaborate more closely and adopt more sustainable approaches.

While the review's findings suggest a number of ways that ad production can make these carbon cuts, we spoke to a number of industry insiders to understand what changes they've already introduced in-house and what practices they plan to continue cultivating to commit to acting as sustainably as possible.

Morgan Cox, Head of Dynamic Content & Global Studios, MSQ

The most important lesson for the industry has been that, when it comes to sustainable production, it’s a bit like medicine – prevention is better than cure. You need all stakeholders – from creative to production – pausing at the beginning of the process to consider the best and most sustainable approach to the client’s brief.

If you bake in sustainability and proof by data at the beginning, you will remove any subjective views and in turn focus the entire team on the best creative solution that also delivers the best results for the client and the planet.

You can't fix sustainability in post. Bring the entire team and the client on the sustainability journey and benefit from the start.

Jess Ringshall, Chief Production Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi

The most important lesson of the last 12 months is consistency. Becoming more sustainable is a core objective and at the same time a huge challenge for the whole industry. We must keep showing up. AdGreen has provided the tools - we have to implement them consistently like a metronome to collectively create change.

Chloe London, Head of Moving Image, St Luke's

We know that when the commitment to reduce the carbon footprint on a production comes from the full agency and client team, huge tangible changes can be made.

From writing a script that lends itself to a UK shoot, to working alongside production companies to make a UK shoot budget work, to reducing shoot attendees and implementing on set best practices; we know that we can significantly drive the footprint down on any production.

With that in mind, the most important lesson we’ve learnt over the last year is, the more we can motivate the full team around us to put the environment high up on the team's agenda, the greater and quicker the impact. Putting elements in place such as a motivated green team and AdGreen training across all departments are quick ways to get the message out there internally.

Clare Donald, Chief Production Officer, Publicis Groupe UK

To change our behaviour towards more sustainable practice, the first things we need to achieve are awareness and advocacy. AdGreen does a great job of both. By identifying ways to reduce carbon and to generate collective action, we’re able to work more effectively with our clients on their path to net zero.


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