AdGreen introduces advertiser levy and readies carbon calculator

The levy comes into force in June, while the calculator will be available in September.

AdGreen has announced its carbon calculator will launch this September and will be free at the point of use for all in the UK advertising industry.

The tool, which is bespoke to the industry and has been designed with support from those who will be using it, will ensure advertising agencies, production companies and service companies are able to collaboratively measure the carbon impact of their projects and to identify the highest carbon producing activities. More details about the upcoming tool are available on the AdGreen websiteAdGreen’s Resources Guide also launches today to give ad production teams an easily digestible handbook on how to start their journey towards net-zero. To keep the resources, tools and training free at point of use, a voluntary levy is being introduced for advertisers to contribute a small percentage of production cost estimates towards AdGreen’s operational costs.

The AdGreen carbon calculator will be a valuable tool for organisations aligning with the Ad Net Zero initiative, which calls upon the industry to reduce the carbon impact of developing, producing and running UK advertising to real net zero by the end of 2030. AdGreen joined forces with the Advertising Association in July 2020, launching in September to unite the advertising industry in eliminating the negative environmental impacts of advertising production. Since September 2020, adam&eveDDB, APR (Advertising Production Resources), Google,  Havas, MullenLowe, Publicis Groupe UK, Sky, WPP and Unilever have joined AdGreen’s advisory board to support its work and over 750 members of the advertising community have completed AdGreen’s free online training to  understand the climate issues faced in the context of the industry.

Contributions towards The AdGreen Levy, which has the full support of the Industry trade bodies including the APA, AOP, IPA and ISBA will be collected by UK based organisations providing production services directly to the  advertiser (described as Principal Production Partners) and then passed on to AdGreen on a quarterly basis. The AdGreen Levy is a recommended 0.25% of the cost to produce an advertising asset – or £2.50 per £1,000 of relevant spend. The AdGreen team will review financials on an annual basis, with the levy percentage reducing as more advertisers decide to contribute.

Jo Coombes, AdGreen’s Project Director said: "It has been fantastic to see the swift response from the advertising industry to AdGreen’s call to collaborate with us. By attending our free training, using the online resources, signing up for our newsletter and events – and now supporting the levy, the industry is showing the commitment that’s needed to tackle our environmental impact together.

We are excited for the launch of our carbon calculator later on this year, which will allow the advertising production community to measure and then really understand how to reduce a production’s environmental impact.

Jo Coombes, AdGreen’s Project Director

Sebastian Munden, Chair, Ad Net Zero and Unilever UK & Ireland’s EVP & GM, said: "To achieve net-zero emissions we need to address every aspect of our carbon footprint, including advertising production. AdGreen will be a vital step towards that and will help all advertisers, big or small, to think about and manage the carbon footprint of the actual production and shooting of adverts and get to net-zero in a targeted and measurable way. As a founding member of AdGreen all of us at Unilever want to play our part in supporting wider industry progress. Working together and by contributing to the levy we can accelerate towards our collective ambitions for advertising to be at the forefront of a more sustainable future."

Rupert Reynolds-MacLean of Biscuit Filmworks UK: "We’re all deeply aware of the growing climate crisis and that every industry has a part to play in reducing its impact - the only way to achieve this is by being transparent between client, agency and production. For us to accurately reduce our carbon emissions, we first need to measure them across the whole campaign, so having a carbon calculator specifically for our industry will be key to this. We’re excited for the launch of the AdGreen Carbon Calculator as it will allow us to look at the carbon impact of activities such as transport, energy, materials used and waste disposal, and to pinpoint where action needs to be taken. Not only that but by allowing those companies entering information to see which of aspects contribute the most carbon to that project’s footprint, we are adding in a level of gamification that could help drive behaviour change even further. This is all leads to a sustainable industry and positive lasting change."

A full copy of the AdGreen Levy guide can be downloaded from AdGreen’s website, including details of inclusions and exclusions and key dates. Principal Production Partners will need to register their intent to collect levy payments by signing up at the AdGreen website. Similarly, advertisers keen to support can register their intent to pay the levy.

adam&eveDDB, Havas UK, Havas Studios and Mullen Lowe Group (representing IPG), and Unilever and Nestlé have been first to commit to paying the levy. Publicis Groupe UK’s agencies are also supporting the collection.

Clare Donald, Chief Production Officer at Publicis Groupe UK, said: "At Publicis Groupe UK, we are huge champions of the work AdGreen is doing on behalf of the industry, and we are advocating the levy to all our clients. Together we will track, and learn about, our carbon impact as part of our responsibilities towards net zero by 2030. It’s a critical journey and one we’re encouraging all our partners to join us on."

Anthony Falco, Chief Production Officer at adam&eveDDB says "By committing to collect the levy payments from participating clients we’re playing our part in enabling AdGreen to continue providing their tools, resources and training free at the point of use. Many of our team have already taken AdGreen’s training and we’re looking forward to using the carbon calculator and the extra information it will give us when it is launched later this year."

Richard Ellis, Operations Director Team Unilever at IPG says: "The carbon emissions target currently sits at a 68% reduction by the end of 2030. At MullenLowe Group we recognise the urgent need to tackle climate change and we feel that responsibility in the way in which we operate for ourselves and our clients. The AdGreen Carbon Calculator will be a robust and valuable tool that will not only able to accurately measure all aspects of carbon emissions from
production but crucially also identifies better solutions. We are actively encouraging all our clients to support AdGreen and adopt the production levy."

Interested parties are encouraged to join AdGreen’s webinar on 13 May which will provide further details on the AdGreen Levy, and to consider registering as collectors and payers via the AdGreen website. AdGreen’s levy team can also be contacted at levy@weareadgreen.com.

For more on how the AdGreen levy impacts agencies watch our breakdown with AdGreen's Jo Coombes and Anthony Falco and Nick Leatham from adam&eveDDB.

Last updated 05 October 2021