Ad Green

Our industry has been changing for the better for many years now. The great thing about being in the creative world is that the people working in it will always be thinking about new ideas beyond the scope of their position. One of these examples is AdGreen. Started by people who have been in this world, working in various departments, coming together to tackle a very obvious issue we all see when producing the work we do. Waste.

The pace of our projects and an incredibly determined “YES” attitude leads us to deliver great things, however, it is time to take a pause and consider how this attitude towards providing everything needs a re-jig and a CHANCE for the environment without which we would not be around to live, let alone create our work.

As a part of our desire to educate ourselves on many things during the pandemic, we signed up for training with AdGreen and we have to say it was one of the most enjoyable to date. This left us inspired to spread the word and hopefully, in the below interview, this is exactly what it will do. We encourage everyone to visit and learn as much as they can to reduce their carbon footprint and add to the efforts already made by so many. I’ll leave you with Kati Hall.

How did you initially find out about AdGreen?

I was working at the APA (Advertising Producers Association) and Jo Coombs, the founder, was getting AdGreen off the ground about 5 years ago. We were helping her onboard production companies to be the guinea pigs for implementing policies around recycling & being eco-friendly on set. It’s been rewarding to see all Jo’s hard work really paying off & AdGreen grow to be such a force for our part of the industry.

When did you start finding yourself interested in the impact we have on the environment?

I was always brought up to respect nature & the planet – it was drilled into us from I was young to never waste anything (food, water, clothes) but I think travelling & seeing more of the world (ironically…) made me much more aware of the colossal impact of living in Western society.

What do you feel are the main misconceptions about production sustainability and our ability to adjust?

People always think it’s more expensive. Which makes no sense when you actually think about it. The fewer materials you use, the less people you bring or the shorter distance you fly is ultimately going to cost less too; with the added benefit of having a reduced impact on the environment.

What are the three easiest, instant solutions a production can do to reduce their carbon footprint?

Go veggie on set. That can reduce your carbon footprint by half instantly. Think of travel, energy and waste. If you’re travelling, who REALLY needs to go? Energy wise, what is your office or are your suppliers powered by? Waste: reduce & reuse as much as possible, then recycle. Every time you recycle something, that’s preventing a new item from being made – that’s why it’s so important!

Having done the training, we really liked the content and insight. Who developed the training at AdGreen and how did you initially work out the specific impact of shoot production?

We all know that once we know WHY we’re doing something, we’re much more likely to actually do it – knowledge is power! We’re strategically partnered with BAFTA’s Albert programme so we’ve been able to take their learnings from the TV industry and translate that across to advertising. Their ‘carbon literacy’ training really sparked Jo to adapt that.

What are the difficulties today in creating an environmentally friendly production in your opinion?

For a lot of people knowing where to start. There is so much we can do – and it all feels overwhelming at times! Society as it stands is not geared up to support a zero-carbon life and just by existing, we are having an impact on the planet. But we can’t think like that all the time. Encouraging yourself and your team to analyse & interrogate your decision making as early as possible. Delegating the responsibilities to your HoDs is a great way of empowering people to find alternatives. And using the resources on the AdGreen website.

How do you measure the impact AdGreen and other similar organisations have already had on the carbon footprint of the industry?

Companies signing up to the AdNetZero Action Plan are committing to measuring their footprint so we’ll have the benchmark we’re working to improve on. Pooling our resources across the industry sectors will allow people to implement changes in all areas. I would say that if you think back to when AdGreen first started; convincing people to bring their own bottles & reusable cups on set, which now seems like second nature for everyone, I think we have come a long way. The issue now is we need to re-focus our priorities on the bigger emitters, e.g. travel & energy use but we are moving in the right direction.

Other than your training sessions, are there any events you would recommend people following (COVID19 permitting)?

Purpose Disruptors, Green The Bid, Race to Zero all have great talks and advice, both inside & outside the industry.

What would your message be to the people reading this today?

Set some targets for your next project; Could it be zero waste to landfill? Could all your catering be veggie? Control the areas that are controllable & don’t get dis-enfranchised, we can all make a difference. Tackle one thing at a time and know that you are doing what you can to help everyone reach net zero.

Kati Hall, AdGreen –

Kati Hall, AdGreen –