World association

UK Ad Association’s Ad Net Zero aims for global reach

Still not sure exactly how adland can save the planet by reducing emissions – can’t there be so many? – but the British Advertising Association’s Ad Net Zero initiative is gaining momentum at Cannes, heralding an international rollout.

The major advertising companies support it (as you’d expect) with Unilever, Google, Meta and Sky as well as the World Federation of Advertisers and trade bodies in the US, UK and Europe.

CANNES, FRANCE – JUNE 21: By 2030, every ad will be a green ad at the Debussy Theatre, Cannes Lions 2022: Day Two on June 21, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Cannes Lions)

The Ad Net Zero 5-Point Action Plan commits to reducing carbon emissions from UK advertising operations to net zero by 2030, with companies pledging to put in place robust, verified plans to reduce their emissions. It is also committed to using the power of advertising to accelerate the shift to more sustainable products and services for consumers. The UK program provides a roadmap for development in other markets, with the ability to adapt and develop market-specific solutions.

Aline Santos, Unilever Chief Brand Officer, said: “Unilever is committed to zero emissions in our own operations by 2030 and to net zero across our value chain by 2039. the first priority being to reduce emissions in line with the 1.5 degree ambition of the Paris Agreement. Everything our brands do, and what our partners do on behalf of our brands, must be fully consistent with this goal. As a founding member of Ad Net Zero in the UK, we look forward to the opportunity to apply learnings and best practices from the UK pilot to shape its global rollout with the wider industry.

As with any discussion of emissions, the key likely lies in persuading other countries – notably China and India – to follow suit. They are the new global economic superpowers, both with heavy industrialization programs.