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    GroupM launches framework for cutting carbon emissions from ads

    • WPP’s GroupM on July 19 announced a global carbon measurement framework that it will use to measure and reduce ad-based carbon emissions, according to a press release.
    • The framework seeks to break down the media value chain and define data inputs to measure emissions across the advertising lifecycle for all formats, channels and markets. In addition to measuring emissions, the framework outlines steps advertisers can take to accelerate their own decarbonization efforts.
    • The framework is a major step by WPP’s investment group to meet its commitment to decarbonize its media supply chain by 2030. GroupM believes the framework — which will be available to clients later this year — will serve as the industry’s most robust global carbon calculator.

    GroupM’s announcement came as a global heat wave has put man-made climate change back at the forefront for consumers and all sectors of the economy. In kind, brands and agencies can be expected to ramp up plans to meet previous “Net Zero” commitments, with many — like GroupM parent WPP — pledging to remove carbon emissions from advertising by 2030. GroupM is looking to accelerate action by creating standards across companies, platforms and markets, as a lack of standardization could be delaying meaningful action, the company’s global CEO Christian Juhl said in a press release.

    “Our clients want to prioritize media investment with publishers and platforms that are actively decarbonizing their media supply,” he said in the press release. “By sharing this global framework, we hope to begin aligning our industry behind a consistent set of standards that will create clear goals and incentives for rapidly decarbonizing the media supply chain.”

    GroupM’s framework provides a new set of measurement methodologies to track and reduce carbon emissions across the advertising lifecycle, from development to delivery. It was created in collaboration with independent specialists in carbon measurement and with input from clients, industry partners, third parties and experts across GroupM and WPP. Along with measurement, the framework includes guidance for steps advertisers can take now, including buying fewer but higher-quality ads, reducing supply chain complexity by using fewer intermediaries and buying low-carbon media products.

    To boost industry efforts, GroupM will make the framework available to industry bodies and organizations. WPP is among the major marketing organizations looking to expand Ad Net Zero, a program that aims to curb the environmental impact of advertising, from the U.K. to the U.S. and the European Union. Ad Net Zero chair Sebastian Munden welcomed GroupM’s move as the ad industry looks to accurately track, report and reduce carbon footprints.

    “This is no easy task, especially as we scale the efforts of Ad Net Zero globally. We would need an agreed standardized approach that works for all parts of the ecosystem: advertisers, agencies, media and tech. This move by GroupM is hugely welcome, and a very timely development to help deliver those aims,” Munden said in a statement.

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