AdGreen’s Annual Review reveals opportunity to slash emissions

The review highlights a huge opportunity for carbon reduction in the process of advertising production around the world.

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


AdGreen, an organisation uniting the advertising industry to eliminate the negative environmental impacts of production, has today launched its first Annual Review. The review reveals an opportunity to drastically reduce the carbon emissions created by the industry. AdGreen is backed by the Advertising Association, a co-founder of Ad Net Zero, alongside ISBA and the IPA.

The advertising industry has an important role to play in reducing carbon emissions and helping tackle the climate crisis. With this new Annual Review AdGreen aims to equip the industry with the tools and knowledge to measure and understand waste and carbon impacts, empowering them to act towards creating zero waste and zero carbon.

The data has highlighted the huge opportunity for carbon reduction in the process of ad production around the world. The industry must make significant changes to ad operations to ensure it can meet a net zero target. Immediate measures to be actioned include fresh approaches to travel and transport, renewable energy choices in production facilities and locations and, data collection and analysis from a higher volume of campaigns.

The Annual Review covers the work of AdGreen throughout 2022 and features thought leadership pieces from Chief Executive, Stephen Woodford, Global Director, Jo Fenn, and industry leaders at ISBA, the IPA, the APA and the AOP. 

Cutting emissions in ad production

AdGreen has been adopted by many organisations, both in the UK and internationally, and for members of Ad Net Zero as a means of implementing Action 2 of the programme: reducing emissions from ad production. 

ISBA, the IPA, the APA and the AOP have worked with AdGreen since its inception to ensure the offer to the production community accurately reflects the industry it is supporting. 

Since launching a carbon calculator in September 2021, over 750 creative agencies, production and service companies have registered for a free account, with many going on to create projects and begin measuring their emissions. 

AdGreen has used its Annual Review to spotlight the organisations taking the next step to engage with carbon measurement by naming the top creative agencies and production companies with the largest number of completed projects. 

The top production companies are Big Sky Productions Ltd, Biscuit Filmworks, Coffee & TV, Econ Films, Gramafilm, Hurricane Media, Odelay Films, Park Village, Perma Collective, Raw Production, Root Creative Global and Spindle.

The top creative agencies (inc. in-house production) are CNNIC Create, CraftWW EMEA, CULT Ltd, Dyson, Gleam Studios, Havas, Makerhouse, Oliver, Saatchi & Saatchi London and STV Creative.

“Brands who are already engaged with AdGreen are the early adopters who are reaping the benefits of this analysis, and who consequently can think more intelligently about the impact of their production work and the changes that they can make. For many, this will be essential as they seek to draw up and meet their own businesses’ sustainability goals,” explains Rob Newman, Director of Public Affairs at ISBA.

Cutting emissions in travel and transport 

One of the most significant yet easily amended contributing factors to emissions is travel, with the report revealing travel and transport activities across all projects emitted the most tCO2e. Predominantly air and road travel contributes a significant amount to the carbon footprint of a production, and so the decision to fly cast, crew and clients out to a location shoot must be called into question where it was once an automatic decision. 

For the projects sitting at over 100 tCO2e, 74% of emissions came from travel and transport, with 49% from air travel alone. As these projects are indicative of the work being created by many large ad campaigns, the total impact of flights taken for production work across the industry will be significant.

“Ad Green has created a powerful resource for any advertiser and their partners to take active steps to reduce carbon emissions from their ad production process. The ability to calculate and predict the potential impact of production choices on emissions creates the opportunity for an active discussion right at the start of the process, rather just reporting and mitigating at the end.” explained Sebastian Munden, Chair, Ad Net Zero.

He continues: “We urge all companies, including the growing number of supporters in the Ad Net Zero community, to review these findings and take practical action on all the productions they are planning this year. Many users have found ways to save costs as well as carbon. The training, calculator, tools and techniques are all freely available at the point of use, so nothing could be easier or smarter than adopting their use with immediate effect.”

The review also shares case studies and examples of reduced carbon activities that productions can choose. The examples are intended to demonstrate that considerate production does not mean a compromise on the quality of the work, but an opportunity to rethink the traditional, utilise technology and expand creative networks.

By providing advertisers with measurement tools and tangible solutions the organisation aims to make actionable strides toward combatting the climate crisis.
To find out more about Adgreen or download the full review please click here.

Related Tags


Agencies Featured