This is not a financial question, it’s a carbon question.

Last week our Project Director, Jo Fenn, set off for Cannes Lions.

Starting in Edinburgh, she took the train to London, the Eurostar to Paris, and after an overnight stop, made the final journey to the south of France.

All in all, the trip took approximately 28 hours.

In comparison, there was a flight last Wednesday from Edinburgh to Nice which took 2 hrs 45 minutes.

But this was not about taking the easy option. As an organisation we are here to unite the advertising industry to eliminate the negative environmental impacts of production, and we know that the largest contribution to CO2e emissions on a production is often travel.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so we did the calculation. Using our carbon calculator tool, we found out the CO2e for each travel option.

Return flight from Edinburgh – Nice = 522kg CO2e

Return trains from Edinburgh – Cannes, including a hotel in Paris = 60kg CO2e

Taking the train reduced her individual CO2e travel emissions by 462kg CO2e, which is equal to producing 1283 bean burgers (or 70 cheeseburgers)*. And the calculation above is for economy flights- business class flights produce roughly 3 times the amount of CO2e.

As an industry we have a duty to understand the impact of our decisions. At Cannes there were discussions around the industry reaching net zero, and addressing the climate crisis, but it is our actions that will make this possible.

So, if your company is in a position to make such a choice going forward, what will you choose to do?

*Carbon emissions taken from The Carbon Footprint of Everything by Mike Berners-Lee.