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Born Summit 2022

In light of COP 27, which took place a few weeks ago, we wanted to take the opportunity to shine a spotlight on our sustainability approach - why it is essential, and more importantly, how we can play our part in striving for sustainability across the board.

Sustainability

1 Dec 2022

Over the last few weeks, our environment and sustainability committee has used COP27 to inspire our very own Born Summit. The summit has drawn attention to Born Social’s Net Zero journey, as well as establishing how we can help our partners talk about sustainability on social. Our team has been sharing key info, resources, and thought starters to help raise awareness, understanding, and engagement in both the challenges the world faces and also in how Born Social can play a part in the change as a certified B Corp.

Read on to find out why we’re pushing sustainability, and what we’re putting into action over the coming months.

What are we doing?

Our aim as an agency is twofold:

  • As an already established B Corp, we want to become more sustainable and push to become NetZero by 2030. This endeavour will not only help the planet but will also help inform the way we advise our clients, refining our own sustainability practices over time.

  • Our second aim is to help our clients talk about sustainability with confidence, and avoid the pitfalls that lead to backlash or being called out. As partners, we have a role to play in helping clients behave more sustainably and by suggesting activity that extends beyond social we can help protect the planet. Together, we can work collectively to play our part in reducing climate change not only within our industries but also at a consumer level.

Why are we pushing for a more sustainable approach?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 50 years, we have no doubt you know why we’re spearheading sustainability. But if you needed any extra facts, figures, or persuasion points… we have plenty:

  • In 2022 the ad industry added an extra 208m metric tons of CO2, increasing the UK's carbon footprint from 28% in 2019 to 32%. If we are to mitigate the worst of climate change, global emissions need to be halved by 2030. Instead, they are set to rise by 10%. This is why we’re aiming for NetZero by 2030.

Our standpoint is clear - as advertisers, we have the power to influence society in two very different directions. On the one hand, we can choose to push overconsumption and unsustainable habits with carbon-intensive clients. Or, we can appeal to conscious citizens and promote more sustainable behaviours with cleaner client practices.

As an agency, we’re choosing the latter, and we know that the sooner you start acting sustainably - the better for people, planet, and profit. We recognise that sustainability discourse can be a daunting arena to step into without guidance or a game plan, which is where we come in. We’re not waiting for our clients to come to us about sustainability, we’re proactively starting the conversation and nipping any sustainability worries in the bud with our tried and tested framework and expertise.

How are we tackling it?

Luckily, we’re on hand to advise brands on their sustainability approach. To make sure everyone is aligned cross-agency, we came up with a framework to audit and adapt our client’s sustainability strategies. Our framework is divided into 3 main areas:

  • Action
    • E.g. Charity donations, taking a stand, and committing to change by becoming more accountable - it's better doing something imperfectly than nothing at all.

  • Collaboration
    • E.g. Align your sustainability with others and leverage talent - make your sustainability campaign memorable and engaging.

  • Frequency
    • E.g. Little & often, build your narrative over time, and maintain consistency across channels.

As well as our 3 main fields, we’ve also set out our key dos and don’ts to help us avoid common sustainability pitfalls and make sustainability content as good, if not better, than our client’s regular content.

With our framework in place, we want to shift the perception of dry and uninspiring sustainability ads and improve brand attention stats. Typically sustainability ads fall 5% lower than normal. Why? Because most sustainability ads are generic or don’t mean much to people. But if you strike a balance between a sustainability claim and a brand message, the ad is 28% more effective than the norm. This is what we’re striving for with our clients.

Conclusion

As an agency to major consumer-facing brands, we not only have a moral obligation to influence and advise on our client’s sustainability offering, but we also must continue our journey to become even more sustainable ourselves. After all, if our partners are to take our advice, we must practice what we preach and proactively take the sustainable course of action for ourselves, our clients, and our planet.

Can’t see the wood from the trees with your sustainability approach? Drop us a line at shout@bornsocial.com and we’ll be more than happy to help.