Ad Net Zero supporters line up for critical year in climate action

Posted on Thursday 25 February 2021 | IAB UK

IAB UK joins support base as the UK advertising industry is encouraged to make a substantial gear-change in the run-up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)

Ad Net Zero, headed by the Advertising Association, ISBA and the IPA, is the UK advertising industry’s initiative to respond to the climate crisis caused by CO2 emissions. Today, the initiative announces its supporter base - including IAB UK - as it readies for a critical year in climate action. 

The list of supporters have all made a contribution to help the UK advertising industry achieve net-zero by the end of 2030 through funding, specialist expertise and resourcing. IAB UK are supporters of the initiative, as well as IAB members from across the industry, including Google, Facebook, Unilever, The Guardian, Publicis Groupe and Havas (see below for a full list of supporters). 

Working groups have been formed to make rapid progress across the Ad Net Zero Action Plan, unveiled in late 2020:

  1. Tracking, analysing and assisting the continued reduction of carbon emissions from ad business operations, chaired by James Best, Chairman of Credos

  2. Reducing emissions from advertising productions, chaired by Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association

  3. Reducing emissions from media choices, led by the IPA’s Media Futures Group

  4. Greening up the industry’s awards and events, chaired by Suzanne Costello, Head of Events, Advertising Association

  5. Using advertising’s positive Influence, chaired by Matt Bourn, Director of Communications, Advertising Association

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association, said: “First, thanks to all the supporters from across our industry that have come together to make a fast start on this Action Plan. As a collective, our ambition is to set our industry on a clear path to net zero with immediate actions to measure, track and reduce the carbon impact of the way our industry operates. We will also be focusing on how UK advertising’s creativity can support the rapid shifts in consumer behaviour needed to address the climate emergency that we all face.” 

Ronan Harris, Managing Director, Google UK & Ireland, said: “At Google, we always strive to do what’s best for the planet, as demonstrated by our recent pledge to operate all our data centres on carbon-free energy by 2030. Equally, we are committed to helping the UK advertising industry wherever we can achieve its aim to be net-zero. As part of that, we look forward to contributing to Ad Net Zero and AdGreen through our expertise, insight, and resources.”


About Ad Net Zero 

Acknowledging the need for advertising as a sector to respond to the urgency and scale of the climate crisis caused by CO2 emissions, the Advertising Association’s Climate Action Group produced a report and recommendations for cross-industry action in November 2020 to be taken forward under the umbrella of the Ad Net Zero initiative.

Concern over the issue is shared across the advertising sector by individuals and companies alike. Some 71% of people working across the industry are worried about the negative impacts of the industry on the environment; more want their agencies to take climate action.

Many agencies and companies across the industry have taken their own steps to work more sustainably. New policies and commitments are being announced by firms large and small all the time. But more needs to be done collectively.

 People across the sector want advertising to be part of the solution to the climate crisis, through the role it can play in influencing corporate policy and consumer behaviour, helping people make more sustainable choices in what they buy, use, and do. 91% agree that knowing their organisation is taking climate action would improve their job satisfaction.

Ad Net Zero was established to provide space for this necessary collaboration. Working together, the supporters will drive carbon-curbing policies throughout the advertising ecosystem and will strengthen and extend the sector’s response to a shared challenge.


The full list of Ad Net Zero supporters are: Accenture Interactive/Karmarama, APA, APR, Campaign Collective/PRCA, Channel 4, Coffee and TV Dentsu, Direct Line, DMA, E.ON, Facebook, Google, The Guardian, Hallam, Havas, Hearts & Science, IAB UK, IPA, ISBA, ITV, JCDecaux UK, Nexus, Park Village, PPA, Publicis Groupe, Rock Kitchen Harris, Royal Mail, Sky, St Luke’s, Sky, STV, Unilever, Wieden+Kennedy and WPP. In addition, Google has joined the AdGreen consortium in support of the zero carbon/zero waste ad production standard. 

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