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08 Dec 2010 09:12:27

Envido launches the CarbonTrack

Envido launches 1st carbon emission measurement tool for the advertising industry - CarbonTrack.

CarbonTrack™ is the first - and only - tool to measure carbon emissions from the advertising industry, which is thought to produce an estimated 2 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

Envido in partnership with SMG will today publicly unveil CarbonTrack™, the world’s first credible, universal measurement tool designed to calculate the carbon footprint of advertising campaigns. CarbonTrack™ has been developed with guidance from the Carbon Trust and the launch in London today will be supported by two of SMG’s most environmentally active clients, Honda and Heineken.

According to first estimates using CarbonTrack™, the UK advertising industry is thought to produce an estimated 2 million tonnes of CO2 annually, the equivalent of heating 364,000 UK homes for a year. This estimate is the very first carbon benchmark ever calculated in the advertising industry. With total UK carbon emissions in business reaching 198.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent last year, CarbonTrack™ is expected to transform the way the advertising industry measures and reports on its contribution. Under development for over a year, CarbonTrack™ measures the carbon output of an advertising campaign throughout its entire lifecycle, from concept to set-up to breakdown - or simply, from cradle to grave.

CarbonTrack™ is capable of evaluating everything from TV to radio, outdoor, magazines, newspapers, digital display and search. It will enable agency planning teams and advertisers to make decisions that not only meet overall campaign communications objectives, but also help companies meet wider corporate objectives around carbon emission reporting and - if required - carbon reduction, without compromising on campaign cost, coverage or quality.

CarbonTrack™ will transform accountability as the world’s first credible carbon measurement tool for advertising campaigns

Alastair Bannerman, chief client officer at Starcom MediaVest Group UK said: “Starcom MediaVest Group and Envido are delighted to have pioneered CarbonTrack™, with guidance from the Carbon Trust on the methodology. Every company with a carbon commitment will be investigating their supply chain to identify ways to manage emissions. Until now there has been an important gap in this requirement. CarbonTrack™ will transform accountability as the world’s first credible carbon measurement tool for advertising campaigns.”

CarbonTrack™ has two primary uses - firstly, it will provide companies with a certified report on the total levels of carbon emissions associated with their advertising campaigns, so they can accurately and holistically report on their carbon targets. Secondly, it will allow marketers to make subtle changes to their advertising campaigns, mindful of other planning considerations such as coverage, quality and cost, to actively manage carbon emissions. Some marketers may even choose to include carbon management targets into annual KPIs.

Information provided by media owners is strictly confidential and CarbonTrack™ will not allow for direct, named comparisons between various media owners. The methodology behind CarbonTrack™ will, however, allow companies to benchmark themselves against their previous campaigns, their peers and the wider industry. It will provide information to help them actively engage with their suppliers to manage carbon emissions where appropriate.

Ifti Akbar, co-managing director of specialist energy, carbon and sustainability consultants, Envido, said: “Carbon accounting is becoming more sophisticated and widespread as new national and international standards and legislation come into force. Companies utilising CarbonTrack™ will be ahead of the UK legislation curve and actively contributing to reducing the emissions of their industry. With CarbonTrack™, advertisers can for the first time measure and manage emissions associated with their marketing spend.”

CarbonTrack™ was created and developed under the PAS 2050 guidelines, the international standard for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services, developed by the British Standard Institute and co-sponsored by the Carbon Trust and Defra. In applying the methodology and collecting the data for CarbonTrack™, Envido has worked in conjunction with the Carbon Trust Footprinting Company to pool their combined expertise. CarbonTrack™ has inspired a new set of guidelines for carbon footprinting beyond the PAS 2050 certification and currently being certified under these by the Carbon Trust.

Together, SMG and Envido identified and worked with all the major suppliers across the advertising landscape to ensure that the data for each medium adhered to the Carbon Trust’s rigorous standards. In total, over 100 different suppliers have contributed data to CarbonTrack™, sourced from across outdoor, broadcast, magazine and newspaper media to printers and publishers, logistics and transportation companies, and data centre providers.

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