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Advertised emissions boost industry's carbon footprint
Advertised emissions – greenhouse gas emissions driven by the increased sales that result from advertising – are 208 times higher than the advertising industry’s operational footprint.
That’s according to Advertised Emissions: The Temperature Check 2022, a new study from advertising climate network Purpose Disruptors and econometrics agency Magic Numbers, as reported in The Drum.
Why it matters
The advertising sector has, understandably, been focused on getting its own house in order with regards emissions, which are currently running at around one million tonnes a year. But this is to ignore “the elephant in the room”, says Jonathan Wise, co-founder of Purpose Disruptors: “advertising drives consumption and consumption drives carbon emissions”.
The study comes as COP27 begins in Egypt amid the UN's dire warnings of “climate chaos”, with calls for urgent and credible action to ensure global emissions are cut by 46% by 2050. On current trends, they will instead rise by 10%. Advertised emissions are growing but need to be falling if the industry is to play its part.
- Emissions driven by advertising (or ‘advertised emissions’) have increased by 11% between 2019 and 2022.
- Advertised emissions fell 22% in 2020 during lockdown but returned to 2019 levels in 2021 and are forecast to rise 12% in 2022, to 208 million tonnes.
- To put the figures in a different context: the UK advertising industry has grown its contribution to every citizen’s carbon footprint from 28% in 2019 to 32% in 2022.
“We invite people in the industry who worry about climate to ask themselves and their colleagues this question: ‘Are we serious about helping to tackle our climate emergency and, if so, how are we going to reduce our advertised emissions?’ The people who ask this question are the leaders the industry needs right now” – Jonathan Wise, co-founder of Purpose Disruptors.
Sourced from The Drum, BBC
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