Are we done with our environmental resolutions already?
The 19th of January probably came and went for most of us without much excitement or fanfare. But statistically, this is the day where (according to research by fitness app Strava) most of us who have bold and ambitious New Year’s resolutions, pack-up and quit. The new running shoes go back in the wardrobe, you’re back to buying expensive coffee, and the Duolingo Owl has given up pestering you to return to your language lesson.
Agencies (if they resolved to change at all), face the same challenges in keeping those resolutions on track: people leave, teams evolve, budgets shift, and the agenda can quickly change. After which the excuses can come thick and fast.
Looking towards this year, environmental objectives are undoubtedly at the forefront of business goals. With advertising emissions estimated to add an extra 28% to the carbon footprint of every person in the UK, and with the talk from last year’s COP26 summit firmly behind us, 2022 is a big year for agencies to make lasting change. How can we keep these ambitions on schedule and tackle the creeping inertia that often stops progress in its tracks?
TIME ISN’T MONEY
The first thought of doubt that can creep in, is that carbon offsetting might create strain on time or budget. This is not the case.
There are many organisations (such as Carbon Footprint Ltd) that help simplify the process, independently assess the figures, and are moderated under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). At KGA, an event management company, we’re very conscious of the positive effect we can have on the industry by being 100% carbon neutral.
We do this for the business operation, and we take it a step further by carbon offsetting all of our event productions. As a services-orientated sector, most Marketing, Advertising, and PR agencies are even better positioned to implement these changes, as there is less of an administrative burden than there is on product-orientated businesses.
There is an easy-win by-product from fixing the planet too, which is that taking your business carbon neutral will positively impact your credibility. Whatever the nature of your audience, a business operating with integrity will ingratiate itself with consumers and clients alike. So if costs are your concern, think again. The goodwill generated will deliver commercial payback alongside the physical benefits for the planet.
THE LAST STEPS ARE THE EASIEST
The effort required to take a business carbon neutral is in the initial steps. Those steps being to calculate; reduce; offset. Service-providing agencies need only concern themselves with operational carbon emissions: offices; commutes; business related travel. Once you’re up and running here, the annual updates and data reviews are a straightforward requirement. This isn’t a continuous drain on resources.
So take action! We’re witnessing increasingly regular heatwaves, wildfires, life-threatening floods, and accelerated ice melt. Do we really need anymore wake-ups? We may have just passed the week where most of us give up on our New Year’s resolutions, and carbon neutral ambitions are no exception. But if you’re serious about being proactive and achieving positive change, 2022 is the year to make it happen. It can only add value and lower barriers to creating great work. Don’t quit, it has never been easier to start (and finish) the journey.