Ad Net Zero Global Led By Advertisers, Trade Bodies, and Agency Groups

June 21, 2022: The European Association of Communications Agency (EACA), is supporting the international roll out of Ad Net Zero, the programme to reduce the emissions from advertising operations to net zero by 2030.

Working closely with major advertising agency holding companies, advertisers, and regional and local agency associations, EACA will help to drive forward the Ad Net Zero initiative, ahead of a planned global Ad Net Zero summit to run in parallel with the COP27 Climate Change Conference in November.

Announced at the Cannes Lions festival, the goal of the new Global Ad Net Zero group is to rapidly establish cross-industry coalitions in key markets. Its immediate focus is on founding chapters in the US, Singapore and the EU, and working in partnership with the UK team, led by the Advertising Association, ISBA and the IPA, which launched a local programme in November 2021.

Tamara Daltroff, Director General of the EACA, said: “Ever since the Ad Net Zero programme was launched in the UK, it became obvious that a well-crafted plan and comprehensive guidelines can bring all the industry stakeholders on the same page. Rolling out a global version of the initiative was the next logical step, and well received by EACA’s members who are invested and keen to work on this important topic across their local markets.”

“As advocates for a sustainable industry, agencies are very well acquainted with the increasing demand for change from consumers and the political scene. Equipped with the Ad Net Zero principles, they will find these rough seas more navigable and, regardless of where they are located, bring value to the initiative and its ultimate ambition.”

Joining forces with EACA on Ad Net Zero are some of the world’s major advertising agency holding companies, dentsu international, Havas, Interpublic Group, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe and WPP, along with Unilever – the world’s second largest advertiser, Google, Meta and European media company Sky.

Ad Net Zero will also be supported by US trade bodies 4A’s and ANA, the WFA representing global advertisers, IAB, VoxComm, and the IAA to extend the programme from the UK to other major advertising markets. Ascential, owners of LIONS, has played a major role in convening this international action to tackle the climate emergency.

The Ad Net Zero 5-point action plan pledges to reduce the carbon emissions from advertising operations to net zero by 2030, with businesses committing to robust, verified plans to reduce their emissions. It also pledges to use the power of advertising to accelerate the switch to more sustainable products and services for consumers. The UK programme provides a roadmap for development in other markets, with the flexibility to adapt and develop-market specific solutions. It offers tools readily available internationally, like the AdGreen carbon calculator to help to measure and reduce emissions from advertising production.

Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO of the 4A’s, said: “Agencies have the responsibility to stay ahead of issues and trends impacting the industry like sustainability not just for internal purposes, but to help influence the brands they support. From responding to the climate crisis to infusing creative solutions that highlights sustainable commerce — agencies are partnering with brands now more than ever to help them navigate as well as educate and expand the understanding of what this means and what we can do to support. Initiatives like Ad Net Zero help set the standard for where we need to take our focus with the industry in the U.S.”

Stephan Loerke, CEO, World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), said: “Climate change is the defining issue of our age not just for the ad industry but for society at large. Marketers have a key role to play in persuading consumers to adopt behaviours that lead to a more sustainable future. The international launch of Ad Net Zero is a crucial first step in terms of getting our own house in order and ensuring its own operations go net zero. It perfectly complements the WFA Planet Pledge, which provides a framework for marketers to lead in driving consumer behaviour change.”

The global advertising industry, as measured by advertising media investment, was worth $594,322bn in 2020. The top 20 advertising markets account for 89.3% of this spend and these markets will be the focus for the rollout of the programme following the US and Singapore.

The global roll-out follows formation of the first international chapter of Ad Net Zero in Ireland, led by the country’s trade association, the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI).
The second Ad Net Zero Global Summit will take place on November 9-10 2022 as an online event, free to attend for all advertising professionals from around the world. The summit’s agenda will cover the progress being made on the implementation of Ad Net Zero and the challenges to be tackled by the world’s advertising community.

Notes to editors:

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 focus for this necessary collaboration. Working together with its founders, the Advertising Association, the IPA and ISBA, the supporters will drive carbon-curbing policies throughout the advertising eco-system and will strengthen and extend the sector’s response to a shared challenge.

Top 20 global advertising markets as of 2020
(Source: WARC)

  1. USA
  2. China
  3. Japan
  4. UK
  5. Germany
  6. France
  7. Australia
  8. Canada
  9. Korea, Rep
  10. Brazil
  11. Italy
  12. Russia
  13. India
  14. Spain
  15. Austria
  16. Pan Arab
  17. Indonesia
  18. Netherlands
  19. Mexico
  20. Philippines

About EACA
Established in 1959, the Brussels-based European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) unites more than 2,500 communications agencies and agency associations from nearly 30 European countries. EACA’s purpose is to engage with EU policymakers, the industry and stakeholders in order to provide its members in with the most favourable business and legal framework they need to thrive. Through initiatives like INSPIRE, edcom, and the IMC & Effie Awards Europe, EACA is continuously working on the educational, qualitative, and sustainable aspects of advertising in Europe. Visit www.eaca.eu to learn more.

For further information, please contact:
Tamara Daltroff, EACA General Director