IPA Media Climate Charter

A pathway to sustainable transformation

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Created by agency members of the IPA Media Futures Group, the IPA Media Climate Charter provides media agencies with the tools and resources to support their transition to a zero-carbon future.

A pathway to sustainable transformation

    A foreword from IPA President Julian Douglas

    "The science is clear. We need to turn fast and hard if we are to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and mitigate the worst effects of global warming. Incrementalism is the enemy here too. This requires every single one of us to respond and transition. But we can’t succeed acting alone - we need fully committed industry-wide coalitions that drive the change we need to see.

    "The IPA Climate Charter is a response to that challenge for collective action. Formed from the Advertising Association Climate Action Working Group of 2020, when several media agencies came together to ask what role they could play in accelerating climate action for all media agencies.

    "The Charter sets the pathway for sustainable transformation, making accessible to all charter members the tools and resources to make a genuine impact at their own agency. In particular, how to measure and reduce the impact of media investment through the Charter's carbon calculator for media plans, which is a key recommendation of the AA's Ad Net Zero report.

    "Elsewhere, Climate Charter members can access a library of resources that recommend initiatives and action across business operations, ad production and promoting sustainable lifestyles through campaigns. Most importantly of all, Climate Charter members will join a community of motivated media agencies, which together can solve problems, share lessons and inspire the 10x change that we know is required.

    "With COP26 around the corner, the global spotlight is on the UK. Now is the time for the UK media agency industry to demonstrate its commitment by taking up the Charter's recommendations and post- COVID-19 stepping onto a new path for how we become better custodians of the world we live in."

    Advancing the industry's sustainability goals

    Created by agency members of the IPA Media Futures Group, the IPA Media Climate Charter provides media agencies with the tools and resources to support their transition to a zero-carbon future.

    The IPA Media Climate Charter offers a pathway for media agencies to demonstrate their commitment and action in response to the climate crisis and introduces best practice on three levels:

    • Operations: reducing the carbon impact of business operations
    • Output: reducing the carbon impact of media planning and buying to help deliver on Action Point 3 of Ad Net Zero - the Advertising Association’s industry-wide initiative.
    • Industry wide: adopting the measures from Ad Net Zero, such as reducing the impact of ad production and promoting sustainable behaviours in society.

    Alongside practical guidance on reducing the carbon impact of agency operations and the work that media agencies produce for clients, the ambition of the Charter is to advance the industry's sustainability goals through an ongoing programme of research, education and events.

    Working together to deliver on Ad Net Zero

    Ad Net Zero is the UK Advertising Association’s industry-wide initiative to coordinate, monitor and push forward industry action to achieve real net zero carbon emissions from the development, production and media placement of advertising by the end of 2030.

    Ad Net Zero proposes action on five fronts:

    1. Advertising businesses’ own operations
    2. Advertising production
    3. Media buying and planning
    4. Awards and events
    5. Using advertising’s positive influence

    The IPA Media Climate Charter supports all five actions and specifically helps deliver on Action Point 3: curbing emissions from media planning and buying with two specific initiatives: 

    Carbon calculator for media plans

    With the calculator, the industry can now measure the overall carbon footprint of the campaigns that media agencies plan and buy for clients across all channels, and they can start to work to reduce the climate impact of running clients’ campaigns.

    The Media Carbon Calculator is available to IPA Media Climate Charter subscribers.

    Media Owner Showcase

    The Media Owner Showcase will highlight the many varied and significant contributions towards sustainability that our key partners are making and increase the visibility of these efforts for all media agencies. It will serve as a guide to help the industry find more climate positive solutions to briefs as well as surfacing and sharing inspiring case studies from media partners & brands working together to meet a sustainability goal.

    The showcase will launch in late 2021.

    Featured content available to all

    Other content is available only to IPA Media Climate Charter subscribers.