In the same week MSQ announced our Sustainability Report for 2023, Creative Salon has been assessing where the industry stands in terms of Going for Green and moving forward with climate impact. In doing so, they spoke to our Chief Sustainability Officer, James Cannings, who told them about our activity in the area working on a two-fold-basis – “getting our own house in order” while also working with clients to address their sustainability concerns.
“Consumers are cynical, sceptical and respond better to ‘we’re not perfect but here’s what we’re doing’. So our job is not to tell our clients that we should stop marketing and making ads, the world’s not going to accept that yet. But over the next five to ten years to lead grown up conversations about the products and services that we’re helping to sell and understand where clients are on their journey so we’re not accidentally greenwashing for them. But getting the message right as they move on their journey.”
When it comes to our own operations, MSQ is committed to a “core net zero strategy” based on carbon reduction, tree planting and carbon removals as we progress towards a position of being carbon negative.
Creative highlights from MSQ Sustain include activity for AXA Investment Managers and a campaign to launch 1T.Org, a platform for tree planting that was announced at the World Economic Forum. We also publish an annual sustainability report, which can be found at https://www.sustainability.msqpartners.com, while also working to reduce the carbon footprint of our own websites.
It’s clear that agencies can do, and should be doing, more to address the climate crisis. It’s reached such a level of importance that it’s reported between 5 and 10 per cent of the criteria for agency selection is now typically based on an agency’s sustainability credentials. One move James is in favour of is that all advertising awards should reflect the importance of green-related issues by rewarding work across categories based on around 25 per cent sustainability criteria.
We also believe that advertising can learn from disciplines such as customer experience where experts are focusing increasingly on “humanity-centered design”. It will be fascinating to see if ad agencies are able to build a similar sustainability emphasis into all their work for clients. “You can debate whether commercialism can solve the problem it’s created but we need to see leaders on this.”
As part of Creative Salon’s analysis addressing the climate crisis within the industry, they also selected a number of Green Pioneers – leaders in paving the way towards a sustainability-focused future. Amongst them was none other than MSQ Sustain, deemed a top agency “offering consulting services to help clients assess their sustainability performance, develop strategies, and identify opportunities to reduce their environmental impact”.
Read the full article and list of Green Pioneers via Creative Salon here.