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The EY Sustainability Matters podcast

Jun 5, 2023

There are various decarbonization frameworks designed for heavy industries, but what about the less obvious emitters like the service sector?  How can they standardize emissions measurement and set out on the road to decarbonization?

In this episode of Sustainability Matters, we look specifically at the advertising and media sector and the challenges companies have faced in decarbonizing their supply chains. Host Bruno Sarda and EY CCaSS Senior Manager Charlotte Pugh are joined by Ollie Joyce and Alexandra McGee from marketing services leader WPP, which is at the forefront of efforts to establish an industry-wide carbon measurement framework. 

Ollie and Alexandra explain how developing a standardized approach to measuring carbon emissions is a complex but necessary step for the media industry to achieve ambitious net-zero targets.  They discuss how WPP’s proposed global framework for measuring the ad-based carbon emissions and their media decarbonization coalition seek to create alignment with industry players.

Ollie and Alexandra discuss how media placement generates a significant carbon footprint and clients are questioning the emissions of the platforms they appear on. While emissions will never be the sole factor in media placement decision-making, the guests think that media investment will shift to publishers and platforms that decarbonize fastest. This has business advantages, as greater transparency may improve the media environment and deliver lower emissions.

Finally, Ollie and Alexandra talk about the lessons other industries that lack a standardized approach to decarbonization can learn from the media industry’s experience, and how real change can be achieved from incremental gains.

Key takeaways include:

  • There is a new resolve within the advertising industry to reduce its carbon footprint.
  • Existing GHG protocols can be difficult to interpret for the service sector and this complexity in measurement creates a roadblock for action.
  • Industry-wide collaboration is key to establishing standardized emissions measurement in complex service sector value chains, such as the media sector.
  • Emissions data is becoming an increasingly important factor in media placement decisions.
  • Making carbon a factor in media decisions may reduce waste in the media supply chain and improve the media environment.
  • Decarbonization efforts can correlate to business and workforce benefits.

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