‘More Greta Thunbergs’ - Scottish IPA Chair rallies ad industry to take action on climate crisis

David Shearer outlines plans for adland to tackle climate change

Shearer wants the Scottish ad industry to take action on climate change
Shearer wants the Scottish ad industry to take action on climate change

The newly appointed IPA Chair for Scotland, David Shearer, wants to create a cohort of 'Greta Thunberg-inspired' climate ambassadors to inspire the ad industry to take action on climate change. 

Shearer, the managing director of MediaCom Edinburgh, said the group will consist of junior practitioners within agencies to research, highlight and drive climate-related initiatives that help reduce adland’s environmental impact.

The group will interact with IPA Scotland’s senior leaders forum, to ensure their views are heard and acted upon. 

"It is abundantly clear that young people are the most fully engaged with the climate emergency. Greta Thunberg’s pre-eminence as a global climate change figurehead and the focus on young people’s view in ‘The Climate Pledge: Paris 10 Years Early’ advertising campaign provides clear, empirical evidence of this," he said.

"This is no real surprise given it’s their future that’s under threat. I would, therefore, like to involve more of our younger colleagues in helping to protect the future health of our industry."

Shearer said the sustainability-focused initiatives that the group will champion includes the Ad Net Zero programme, which will host a two-day summit, COP26, in November.

The climate change initiative was set up last year by the Advertising Association, IPA and ISBA to help the industry respond to the climate crisis caused by CO2 emissions. Chaired by Unilever, it comprises 70 leading companies from across the UK advertising industry. Each has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions from their operations by the end of 2030. 

Shearer noted one area of the Ad Net Zero plan – the IPA Media Climate Charter – which offers a pathway for media agencies to demonstrate their commitment and action in response to the climate crisis.

It includes a carbon calculator for media plans that has been developed by MediaCom and is available to the wider media community.

There is also an advertising production sustainability initiative, known as AdGreen, that encourages agencies and production companies to commit to zero waste and zero carbon production. 

COP26 will be held in Glasgow in November.

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