Jessica Heygate
Nov 11, 2022

GroupM unites global brands to tackle media decarbonization

Coalition aims to standardize measurement of carbon emissions created by media placements.

Photo: Unsplash
Photo: Unsplash

A coalition of global brands have joined forces with GroupM to collectively work to reduce the carbon created by the placement and consumption of advertising.

Founding members of the Media Decarbonization Coalition include GroupM, its agencies EssenceMediacom, Mindshare, MSix&Partners and Wavemaker, and clients Audible, AXA, Bayer, Danone, Deutsche Telekom, L'Oréal, Mars, Paramount, Sony and Tesco. Brands in the coalition collectively represent nearly $10 billion in global advertising investment.

While the coalition is currently composed of GroupM clients, other brands are invited to register their interest in joining.

On the agenda is establishing a common approach to measuring ad-based carbon emissions, standardized across platforms, publishers and media suppliers.

GroupM proposed a global framework for measuring ad-based carbon emissions in July. Its ambition is to break down the carbon emissions associated with placing ads in each media channel, but the agency network said at the time that making it work will require the whole industry to get on board.

It hopes by getting members of the coalition to test the framework it will validate the approach and encourage more industry buy-in.

“The most important and immediate step we can take to address the climate crisis is to align on a single set of industry standards for carbon measurement,” Kieley Taylor, global head of partnerships at GroupM, said in a statement. 

The coalition will also review vendor and partner efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of advertising, share learnings from their companies’ sustainability activities and pursue areas for collaboration.

A steering committee made up of representatives from coalition companies will govern and set the agenda for the group’s activities. It will be chaired by Krystal Olivieri, global chief innovation officer at GroupM and WPP data company Choreograph. 

The coalition is inspired by the work of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), a group established in June 2019 by some of the world’s largest advertisers and agencies to improve brand safety within the ad industry. In June, GARM released guidelines to help the industry demonetize misinformation, control how media is placed around sensitive content, and establish brand safety requirements for the metaverse.

“We know we can achieve more together than we can with separate and disparate action,” said GroupM’s global CEO Christian Juhl in a statement. 

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