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    GroupM founds decarbonization coalition in latest sustainability play

    Dive Brief:

    • GroupM is bringing together nearly 20 leading advertisers representing a collective $10 billion in ad spend to reduce carbon emissions from the global media supply chain, per a press release.
    • Dubbed The Media Decarbonization Coalition, the newly formed group is made up of GroupM and its agencies Mindshare, Wavemaker, EssenceMediacom and mSix&Partners, as well as clients including: Audible, AXA, Bayer, Danone, Deutsche Telekom, L’Oréal, Mars, Paramount, Sony, TalkTalk and Tesco.
    • They will work to improve upon previous green initiatives from GroupM, such as a sustainability framework introduced earlier this year. The group will also incentivize efforts across the industry to reduce the total amount of carbon-created advertising while keeping a pulse on accurate measurement.

    Dive Insight:

    Amid ever more dire warnings around climate change, GroupM is doubling down on its commitments to push the advertising industry’s accountability. As a media-buying shop, the agency’s quest is to specifically limit the damage being caused by the placement and consumption of ads, a stealthy contributor to emissions. 

    A new coalition of agencies and brand clients follows the WPP-owned company’s proposed global framework for measuring ad-based carbon emissions introduced in July. That program builds off of the success of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media co-founded by GroupM in 2019, per the release.

    The coalition will work amongst its members and the ad industry at large to test and improve the framework. The goal is to create a streamlined approach to measuring ad-based carbon emissions and advance and incentivize similar efforts across the industry. While the coalition currently only includes GroupM companies and clients, others are encouraged to join.

    “The coalition we’re announcing today sends a clear message that decarbonization and supply chain sustainability is a top priority for media decision makers and the brands and businesses they represent,” said Christian Juhl, GroupM’s Global CEO, in a statement.

    The project is led by a steering committee — chaired by GroupM’s Global Chief Innovation Officer Krystal Olivieri — that will set its agenda and overarching activities. Members of the committee will participate in workstreams, share learnings and best practices, evaluate initiatives both inside and outside the coalition and pursue opportunities for innovation. In a statement, Olivieri said the goal was to “make advertising one of the cleanest industries in the world.” 

    With growing accusations of “greenwashing,” the advertising industry has taken its role in slowing climate change seriously. In addition to Group M’s efforts, other organizations are working to demonstrate their commitment to the cause.

    Last month, Ad Net Zero, a group based out of the U.K., appointed industry veteran John Osborn to lead its U.S. operations and expansion. Additionally, Interpublic Group’s Momentum Worldwide recently launched a partnership with event-focused sustainability action group Isla in an effort to track and measure carbon footprints for its clients in real-time.

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