Ad Net Zero makes science-based targets mandatory to avoid greenwashing

Ad Net Zero — the marketing sector’s response to climate change — has made it mandatory for all  brands that support its mission to set strict public science-based net zero targets in a bid to fight back against greenwashing.

Its growing list of supporters include Google, Tesco and Unilever.

Ad Net Zero chair Sebastian Munden said: “Science-based targets in line with the latest climate understanding are now mandatory for Ad Net Zero supporters. We are aligning everyone’s strong intent with the best practices of target-setting and reporting and asking for those to be made public.

“We are calling on everyone in the industry to close the gap between intent and action. “Companies up and down the advertising supply chain must use their influence to accelerate the removal of emissions and the promotion of the net zero economy.”

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Supporters will also now be required to measure and report their progress annually in a bid to move away from potential greenwashing.

Companies can set science-based targets via the Science Based Targets initiative, a commitment to the UN Race to Zero (including via the SME Climate Hub), The Climate Pledge, or other comparable alternatives.

The targets will need to be created within 12 months if they are not already in place. Guidance, resources and an analysis of the industry’s path to net zero based on reported targets are all available from Ad Net Zero’s website.

Ad Net Zero is currently running a special area during Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, 19-23 June.

It follows the move by Cannes to include a sustainability criteria in every award entry and to reduce overall emissions from the event.

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