Ad Net Zero appoints lead climate advisor to drive best practice

Ad Net Zero, the global climate action programme for the advertising industry, has appointed Dr. Bill Wescott as lead climate science and policy advisor.

Wescott will also sit as chair of the Ad Net Zero Climate Science Advisory Group, driving forward best practice, and the Climate Science Expert Group, which is working to set a standard to estimate emissions for ad campaigns.

He will also serve as co-chair of the Ad Net Zero US working group on behaviour change – ‘Harness Advertising’s Power to Support Consumer Behaviour Change’ and collaborating with climate organisations including WRI, BSI, SBTi and Race to Zero.

“Bill brings a wealth of climate change and sustainability expertise to our team and has a formidable track record of practical delivery in many of the key areas critical to progress,” said Sebastian Munden, global chair of the climate change programme.

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“It is essential our work is aligned with the very best climate science and is supportive and in step with sustainability best practice across the economy. Bill brings the ability to translate the complex into a compelling narrative for change.” 

Wescott, who is managing partner at BrainOxygen in the US, said the ad sector can “play a vital role in accelerating climate action”, adding that was pleased to be helping “lead the charge”.

“I’ve been analysing the dependence of environmental outcomes on behaviour since my graduate student days many years ago, and advertising has superpowers to change behaviour. Their rocket ship has $775 billion per year of global spend to propel it. That’s a lot of insight, a lot of power, and a lot of responsibility.”

Last June Ad Net Zero announced that it had made it mandatory for all brands that support its mission to set and make public science-based net zero targets in order to rid the industry of greenwashing claims.

Wescott said he believed that Ad Net Zero can “rapidly create meaningful impact at a global level”.

“This work enables ad professionals to activate every person’s “power of me” as an individual consumer and “power of we” as a member of groups at work, in communities, and in society.

While advertisers know everything about product placement, we can help them prioritise “planet placement” so that any ad can reflect the need for climate action in some way,” he added.

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