5 ways marketers can embed sustainability into their every day

To inspire a fresh perspective and proactive mindset towards more sustainable and responsible marketing practices, we hosted an event last week, titled “Sense and Sustainability: The true struggle of balancing process, profit, and planet”. The virtual round-table discussion included speakers from Ad Net Zero, Quorn and Spoon Cereals.

Curious about the insider knowledge? Check out our compilation of the top 5 key takeaways of the event.

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October 31, 2023

Mai Gonzalez


1. Drive the culture with confident curiosity

Sam Blunt, Director of Sustainability at Quorn, advised on having the confidence to ask difficult questions, starting with agency partners. “We want to know that our agencies have a robust sustainability strategy in place. We’ll ask them about things like their recycling practices, if their office is on the Green Energy Tariff or if the business is reporting on gender pay gap. We’ll also ask for transparency around their client base and the industries that their other clients are involved in, because that’s important to us. And most importantly, we look for a commitment to measure the carbon impact of their organisation and the work they do. We need that information to calculate our own Scope 3. This type of questioning then drives the culture within an organisation to leave no stone unturned.”


2. Don’t overdeliver

“In the marketing industry, we’ve become quite obsessed with over delivery for clients”, commented Elle Chartres, UK Director at Ad Net Zero. “We need to step back and realise that overdelivery is wastage. Agency partners who are testing out more sustainable models are realising that there’s absolutely a way to either keep performance the same or increase performance and significantly reduce carbon emissions of, say, a media plan.”



3. Think ahead

Sam Blunt discussed how planning ahead can save time, money and emissions. “We’ve built sensible thinking for activity such as photo shoots. When launching new products, we would do our packaging photography as early as possible, then, later down the line, we would conduct photography for lifestyle and social media. Now, we consolidate all that into one shoot, which not only reduces environmental impact but also saves us money.”


4. Don’t work in silos

Elle Chartres discussed how easy it is to silo off sustainability. “It can be easy to think ‘I’m going to spend a couple of hours a week thinking about sustainability’ or perhaps hand it over to a sustainability team altogether. But for us to progress at pace, we need this to be a part of the marketing team’s day-to-day actions. Put pressure on all of your partners in the ecosystem and include sustainability in every single conversation. This will start to make a difference.”


5. Invest in training

“The education gap is a big issue for the industry” concluded Elle Chartres. “Learning is the only way that marketers will be able to have these conversations and, ultimately, put pressure on leaders to make change. There are formal training programmes and free resources available across the industry. Ad Net Zero runs free webinars, aimed at individuals who can then cascade information within an organisation. This needs to go so much further than the sustainability department, if there is one.”


As an official supporter of Ad Net Zero, Powerhouse will participate in the creation of sustainability standards and best practices which will shape the industry. We will also have early access to brand new tools, resources and regulatory changes which, with the help of the wider Ad Net Zero team, we will be able to embed into our own and our clients’ work!