20th April 2023

Earth Day: Reductions – Everything, Everywhere, All At Once

by Oliver Joyce, Chief Transformation Officer, Mindshare

This year marks the 53rd Earth Day. It always seemed optimistic and hopeful. Scientists lending their voices, communities gathering to spur local initiatives, 15% of the world’s population participating. But even with a billion people showing up and millions making big statements and thinking earnestly about the planet & ways to solve that problem, we can’t seem to move the needle far or fast enough.

The recent 5-year review from the world’s leading climate science body reported that our chance to avoid the most severe impacts is moving out of reach. In the words of UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, the report is “a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. In short, our world needs climate action on all fronts — everything, everywhere, all at once.”

So, no more thinking or talking, here are 8 things that everyone in every company can start today and influence the full implementation of by the end of 2023.

1. Set your goals:

Quantified SBTI (science-based target) reduction goals, including media investments, and then track progress using robust frameworks and tools 

2. Review partners and vendors:

Any ‘offset first’ offering to be added to exclusion lists until they adopt a reduction-first approach.

3. Address Programmatic:

Set a minimum 20% reduction target for programmatic advertising in 2023. The wastage is huge, quantifiable, and easily addressed.

4. Go Faster:

Halve the timelines for industry alignment on any frameworks, we cannot spend another year in committee meetings.

5. Create the business case:

Pro-actively build the case for every client that ‘green growth’ is the biggest opportunity of the next 20 years. We spend our lives looking for small gaps in the market, but the gap between sustainable intent and eco-actives is over 40% so the opportunity is unparalleled. Quantify it, tell them how they can get there, shift investment, track share of that market as a leading growth indicator.

6. Quantify the shift in messaging:

Work with clients to quantify the eco-impact of the advertising at a product level: advertising will change consumer behaviour, so we need to set a validated annual reduction target against the products and services promoted to ensure the weight of messaging supports this shift.

7. The Mighty Pen:

Use your communication skills to write to an MP, journalist, influencer or business with an idea that will change things. How about ‘tax the selfish’ for private jet users, or a mechanic applied to heating bills so they go up the more you use. Seems like a rare combination of reasonable and politically valuable.

8. Get Personal:

Change one personal habit a month. Millions of personal actions will make a big difference.

These may not be the best 8 things, and I’d welcome other ideas since we literally cannot do enough. But if not quite everything, everywhere all at once, they will make a difference, they will reduce carbon output, and there are no barriers to doing them.

Mindshare Global
    Mindshare Global