FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We know it can be a bit confusing to know where to focus your energies, and how to make meaningful changes - here are the things we get asked the most, broken into sections. And if you have a question you’d like answered that isn't here, get in touch.
We're new to AdGreen - have you got a quick way for us to get up to speed?
Our 1 pager details why AdGreen was set up, how it's funded, and by whom. Our 2 pager details our key offerings, who they're relevant to, and the main things advertisers, and those in the advertising production community can ‘do’.
We're in the advertising production community and want to reduce the impact of our production, where do we start?
Advertising agency and production company staff and freelancers can start by taking our training, then registering for the carbon calculator. Creating project footprints will give you an idea of where the biggest chunks of carbon are - and the resources guide will give you lots of ideas on what to do about them and who can help. The earlier you start, the better.
We're an advertiser and want to reduce the impact of our production, where do we start?
You're also welcome to join our training. Reviewing the resources guide will give you a sense of the carbon reduction opportunities available to your production suppliers. Registering for the carbon calculator will mean that when your production suppliers create new campaigns in the tool, they can easily tag your company, and you will be able to see the carbon data generated. You can also help AdGreen continue to provide the training, resources and tools by contributing to the levy via your principal production partners (advertising agencies in most cases). More about this here.
What's the value of all of this, for the client?
Many companies are now engaged with their own carbon reduction targets. Whilst advertising production may be a small piece of the overall pie for some, it's still a contributor to the bigger picture. By joining the conversation, each party involved can play their part in reducing emissions as much as possible. Big infrastructure shifts are required to get to zero, but the more companies involved in the discussion the better, as more demand should open up more supply. It's very likely we'll also see mandatory scope 3 reporting (as well as scopes 1 and 2) for more and more organisations - so getting involved in carbon calculation now will help you get prepared. We can already imagine a future where those servicing the advertisers are working to a carbon budget as well as a financial one.
Who pays for AdGreen and how much?
AdGreen operates in line with albert, offering its tools, resources and training free at the point of use to those in the advertising production community. It is the advertising agencies and production companies who have need to measure and reduce the carbon associated with the activities being undertaken, in order to produce work for the advertiser. Therefore, AdGreen’s recommendation is that advertisers contribute to the AdGreen project via the AdGreen levy (a 0.25% charge on top of production budgets). These contributions ensure that the tools, resources and training can continue to be offered to their production suppliers.
Does it cost more to produce advertising work in a more sustainable way?
This really depends on the scale of the production and the elements involved. Generally speaking, carbon follows cost, so the smaller the budget the smaller the impact is likely to be. The majority of carbon for the average footprint is associated with air travel. If this is removed (e.g. attendees are replaced with local crew), there is a cost (and carbon) saving of the flight, hotel and per diem / meals. Similarly if less waste is produced, it should cost you less to remove from the shoot. In the same way, reducing power needs to save carbon from electricity or fuel consumption should result in lower costs – as studios usually charge by the unit for example, and generator companies by fuel used.
Some products and services which support reduced carbon production of the work we make may be higher, whilst they are newer and demand is not as high, but we hope these will continue to fall as demand increases.
We already work with a 'green consultancy' - can we keep doing that?
Advertisers and Principal Production Partners are of course free to work with ‘green’ consultancies/consultants, independent of engaging with AdGreen's offerings.
However, if the advertiser’s Principal Production Partner is using the resources, tools and training provided by AdGreen, it is hoped the advertiser would contribute to the AdGreen Levy, and that their Principal Production Partner would be happy to collect it from them on AdGreen’s behalf. N.B. It is recommended that the levy is not applied to green consultant costs, on principal. However, this is not included in the official exclusions noted in the levy guide.
What other costs might advertisers expect to see in their budgets to make a shoot ‘sustainable’?
Some Principal Production Partners and 3rd Party Production Partners may choose to add other costs to facilitate ‘green production’. For example, this could be a ‘green’ runner or specialist recycling services for a particular material which is being used. Just like any other line item, it would be up to the production supplier to advocate for the value in these items (ideally in tandem with the reduction in emissions they will affect), and it would be at the discretion of the client as to whether they are happy to pay for these line items.
What does 'Carbon Footprint' mean?
Everything we do produces carbon (even breathing!), so this is the common unit of measurement we use when talking about our impact. Unless we are working carbon neutrally (i.e. all the energy we need is obtained from renewable sources like the sun or wind), everything we do has an output that can be converted into an amount of carbon units (generally measured in kilos or tonnes). Different activities expend different amounts of carbon. When we talk about our carbon footprint, we are talking about the impact a specific activity has on the environment. This could be driving a car to the studio, the production itself, or the industry as a whole.
What are likely to be the biggest contributors to our footprint?
Throughout our comms, events, resources, tools and training we talk about carbon emissions from four specific activity types: transport, spaces (and how we power them), materials and disposal. Transport is likely to generate the most emissions on a project - especially if you're flying - and then energy used to power spaces, then materials used, and finally how they're disposed of. When a production’s footprint is being recorded in the carbon calculator, everything falls into one of these areas, and you'll be able to see which activity type is contributing the most. Throughout the resources guide you’ll see which category each action will have an effect on.
What is the carbon footprint of an average shoot?
This is a tricky question to answer as every project is different - we have a wide range of carbon footprint sizes in our tool, which represent a wide variety of projects. However as a general rule of thumb, for an average TVC shoot day with around 70 client, agency, crew and cast, you could estimate 1 – 2 tonnes co2e, depending on your lighting set up, set builds and catering options. If we assume this is in London, where everyone attending is based, we can see how changing the location can add additional carbon through travel, hotels and additional meals:
If the shoot is in Barcelona:
Shoot day = 2 tonnes co2e
10 x travelling LHR – BCN economy = 3.85 tonnes co2e
10 x rooms for 5 nights midscale hotel in Barcelona = 0.43 tonnes co2e
10 x people 3 chicken based meals per day x 4 days (1 on set) = 0.34 tonnes co2e
Total 6.62 tonnes co2e
If the shoot is in Cape Town:
Shoot day = 2 tonnes co2e
10 x travelling LHR – Cape Town economy = 31.76 tonnes co2e
10 x rooms for 5 nights midscale hotel in Cape Town = 1.68 tonnes co2e
10 x people 3 chicken based meals per day x 4 days (1 on set) = 0.34 tonnes co2e
Total 35.78 tonnes co2e
If it’s still in Cape Town but flying business and staying in an upscale hotel:
Shoot day = 2 tonnes co2e
10 x travelling LHR – Cape Town business = 92.12 tonnes co2e
10 x rooms for 5 nights upscale hotel in Cape Town = 1.95 tonnes co2e
10 x people 3 chicken based meals per day x 4 days (1 on set) = 0.34 tonnes co2e
Total 96.41 tonnes co2e
As you can see, the air travel is the main thing which drives the total up. We aren’t saying that shooting abroad shouldn’t take place, but the number of people travelling, how they travel, and how far should be considered at an early stage, along with local crew opportunities.
Stats generated using the carbon calculator.
Why does switching from business flights to economy flights make such a difference?
Switching from business flights to economy flights reduces emissions by 60% on average. This is because the proportion of the flight's carbon which is allocated to each seat is relative to the amount of space the seat takes up. Economy seats have a smaller carbon footprint because they have a smaller actual footprint!
What's the best quick thing we can do right now?
Switch your spaces to renewable energy - and ask your usual suppliers whether they're running on renewables too. Next up, cater vegan, and shoot close to home or with local crew.
What does the 'greenest shoot ever' look like?
That would be one that tries to reduce its transport and energy needs in the first place (ideally at script stage), and then finds ways to decarbonise - either through green tariffs for mains power or by using renewable alternatives for location power. There would be a zero to landfill policy in place, making sure as much as possible is prepared for reuse, and that waste is sorted into different streams and recycled as much as possible. The 'end life' would be considered for every item purchased for the shoot, from large set builds, to drives, batteries and croc clips. And lastly, making sure that all the materials brought into the production are coming from sustainable sources in the first place!
What about offsetting?
Although you should reduce everything you possibly can in the first instance, there are likely to be unavoidable emissions in almost every advertising production footprint and to be carbon neutral you will need to offset them. As part of the AdGreen carbon calculator, you can predict carbon emissions, enabling you to allocate money in your budget to offset the unavoidable emissions at the end of your production. Once your project has been reviewed by the AdGreen team, you'll be able to access the Creative Offsets hub direct from your final footprint.
I want to learn more - what's a good next step?
Check out Planetmark's Carbon 101 session which took place at a recent summit we were part of. You could also buy a (used) copy of Mike Berners Lee's How Bad Are Bananas? which gives you carbon information for a whole host of everyday things. It's also where we get some of the stats for our training session - which is also a good next step, come and join one!
We want our company to be carbon neutral - how do we go about it?
For dealing with your operational footprint (i.e. emissions associated with the day to day running of your business, as opposed to those relating to specific projects), we recommend engaging a consultancy to help you define a scope of measurement, and set benchmarks and targets. There are plenty around and we're happy to provide a recommendation if you'd like to email us.
Is the training free?
Yes. AdGreen is funded by a 0.25% levy on production spend, paid by participating advertisers via their principal production partners (advertising agencies in most cases). The levy funding enables us to provide tools, resources and training to the community at large.
We’d love to train our whole team at once, do you do private sessions?
Yes that’s possible. We run private training sessions every Monday morning, 10am – noon. You need to commit to at least 15 attendees (the max is 20). If your preferred date is available we’ll send you a link to distribute to relevant staff. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Will we learn how to use the calculator on the training session?
The 2 hour training sessions are general training, covering environmental basics, the industry’s impact, the concept of carbon calculation, how it applies to production and production case studies. The sessions are not specific to the calculator although it is touched upon. If you want to learn to use the calculator, see here for all of the latest training sessions and webinars, plus here for the support resources.
I hear there's homework - what is it?
There is - please calculate your personal footprint from the WWF website and be prepared with the total in tonnes (not a percentage).
How do I cancel my space?
If you are unable to attend a session, please cancel your space via your original confirmation email from Eventbrite (you’ll need to login/create an account with the email you use). This will free up your space for someone else.
I'm struggling to get into the session - help!
These are the steps to take:
- Go to Eventbrite
- Login/create an account with the email address you used to book a space
- Once you’re in, click on your email/profile address in the top right, and then select Tickets
- You’ll see your orders and for the training session there will be a link to ‘go to online event page’ – that will take you to the Zoom
We've done the training – what's next?
Here are some next steps:
- Encourage other staff and suppliers to take the training, so you’re all on the same page
- Read and distribute the resources guide, and think about what you can add into your own processes and policies, and what you can request of your suppliers
- Use the carbon calculator to measure the impact of your productions
- Get 100% renewable energy for your space
- Offset unavoidable project emissions via the Creative Offsets hub
- Sign up for the newsletter for updates and follow us on social: @weareadgreen
- Register as a collector of the AdGreen levy if it's relevant for your company - see more about the levy here
What resources do you have?
The resources guide covers pretty much everything from the website, so it's a great digest of all the handy tips and tricks. In the resources section you'll also find a number of templates and guides, plus a link to albert's supplier listings.
Who is the resources guide for?
The resources guide is for those working in production, on advertising projects. It covers advice for everyone from the creatives to the director, agency and production company teams, and the crew to the caterer. It's a great read for those who have done the training, to learn how to put what you've learned into practice, and is great to send on to your preferred suppliers to let them know how they can support your next sustainable production.
Are the resources free?
Yes. AdGreen is funded by a 0.25% levy on production spend, paid by participating advertisers via their principal production partners (advertising agencies in most cases). The levy funding enables us to provide tools, resources and training to the community at large.
See the full levy guide for further information relating to the levy.
What is the levy?
The easiest way to get up to speed is to watch this animation made by our friends at cain&abelDDB. After that you can explore the levy page of the website which has all the key information you need.
The levy is 0.25% of the cost to produce an advertising asset – that’s just £2.50 per £1000 spent, capped at £2,500 per production. The levy is paid by the advertiser to those producing their work (their ‘principal production partners’, or ‘PPPs’), and then passed to us each quarter. The more advertisers who contribute, the lower the levy percentage can be.
How are the levy funds spent?
AdGreen is here to support an industry shift towards net zero. We don’t consult on individual productions (although we can provide ad hoc advice), we focus on the bigger picture, creating tools, resources, and training for everyone to access, to accelerate change. The levy funds enable us to continue providing these free at the point of use, resulting in a carbon-literate workforce adept at producing work on a reduced carbon budget. We also analyse the carbon calculator’s dataset to assess where infrastructure projects can support a faster shift to net-zero – meaning the team can then work with biggest suppliers (transport, studios, generators, equipment) to make this possible.
The income received via the levy covers the project in general. This is everything from the small support team and zoom subscription, to ongoing calculator development and licencing, and trainers to deliver 2-hour online sessions each week.
The income received doesn't go towards any offsetting of production emissions. This is separate and we offer access to an offsetting hub for those who want it. The offsetting services are provided by Natural Capital Partners (see here). Note that any money paid via the offsetting hub goes direct to Natural Capital Partners, not via us.
We'd like to support! Is there a deadline to register as a collector?
No, although the quicker an organisation does, the more oversight we have as to the level of engagement throughout the industry. Note that we only need those acting as PPP's to register: advertising agencies, and production companies who work directly with clients, and would like to support.
We're registered as a collector but aren't sure what to do next?
Now's the time to get your ducks in a row... you'll need to:
1. Educate relevant internal teams as to the relevance of the levy, and how and when to start adding it to production cost estimate
2. Communicate to clients that the levy will be added to production cost estimates from a specified date (they can opt-out of course)
3. Adjust budget templates internally as required
4. Create a budget code to tag any levy money collected, so that it can be easily reported to AdGreen, each quarter
Help with these steps can be found in the support section on the levy page.
We're registered as a collector - how do we pass the levy payments to AdGreen?
Each January, April, July and October we email the production and finance contact supplied by the registered collectors, and request information about levy payments collected during the previous quarter. The information is supplied to us on the quarterly declaration form. Details of payments collected can be input directly into the form, or on an excel, the template for which can be downloaded from the form.
Are you able to share any learnings around how other Principal Production Partners have successfully engaged with clients regarding levy contributions?
If you're a PPP and registered to collect or considering it, this template text will give you a starting point in communicating to your clients the main info about the levy, and why it's important. Many other PPPs have gone for an 'opt-out' approach, and picked a start date, before using the template text to let their clients know when it will be introduced, and that they can opt-out if they do not want to support AdGreen.
We’re a Principal Production Partner working with clients outside of the U.K. – what do we do?
If you’re working with a client outside of the UK, but you are UK based (and registered to collect the levy), you can add the levy to your budgets just as you might for a UK based advertiser. If they sign off the cost, you can then charge it to them. However, those outside of the UK will likely be less familiar with AdGreen and the levy so you might like to use some of our resources – the 1 and 2 pagers you can download from the About Us page will be the best place to start.
We’re a production company, and not working directly with an advertiser – do we need to add the levy to our budgets too?
No, if you’re not working directly with an advertiser (i.e. not acting as a Principal Production Partner), it shouldn’t be added to budgets (otherwise their costs will be ‘double levied’ when the actual Principal Production Partners, e.g. an advertising agency, adds it to applicable items on their overall budget). It would only be added to a production company’s budget when said company is acting as a Principal Production Partner.
However, Principal Production Partners should be mindful that when working with some markets (e.g. LATAM, South East Asia), usage is incorporated into production/service production company budgets. It would be good practice either to request that the usage is transferred to a separate bid (and that bid not be subject to the levy) or to highlight such budget lines, and for the appropriate levy amount to be removed from the Principal Production Partner’s levy total.
We’re an advertiser - how can we make it clear to our agencies that we want to participate?
You can use the resources on our levy page to help you communicate your intentions to contribute to your principal production partner(s). You’ll find a general briefing deck as well as a budget template guide and template contract addendum. Template text can also be provided if useful. Your Principal Production Partner(s) will also need to register to collect the levy with AdGreen, so that we know to collect it from them.
We’re an advertiser - how do we know our payments have reached AdGreen?
Each payment we receive from collectors is tagged with the brand, so that a report can be pulled if requested. Please email email@example.com to find out more.
We’re an advertiser working with a Principal Production Partner who is not based in the UK – can they collect the levy too?
In this instance the levy would not apply. AdGreen is collecting from UK based Principal Production Partners only at present, as the project is UK based. There are plans to bring AdGreen to other production hubs from 2022 to provide the same infrastructure support and training to local teams. That being said, the carbon calculator uses local carbon factors when calculating emissions from production activities – wherever they take place so rest assured, the tool can be used for global work.
How has the 0.25% for The AdGreen Levy been settled upon?
Three figures need to be understood to ascertain the percentage that will generate enough income for a given timeframe:
- Total industry production spend (as per the inclusions in this guide) for a recent period (e.g. 2019) and factors affecting future spend
- Proportion of industry who support The AdGreen Levy, reflecting Principal Production Partner commitment, production billings and advertiser commitment
- Project budget needing to be generated by the levy for the same period
The percentage is calculated by dividing the project budget for a given timeframe by the estimated production spend amount upon which the levy will be raised (where growth rate year on year is factored in and covers the same timeframe). Data to inform the above numbers has been collected from a variety of public domain sources, including BAFTA’s albert, Campaign, Clearcast, as well as members of the IPA’s PPG group.
Who checks how the percentage has been calculated?
Before announcing the initial AdGreen Levy percentage, the calculations were checked by Menzies (an auditing firm) as well as by several other independent sources/individuals. Prior to each updated AdGreen Levy percentage publication (each June from 2023), the calculations are checked by an auditor and the AdGreen Finance Committee.
The ASBOF levy on media spend is only 0.1%. Why is The AdGreen Levy a higher percentage?
The ASBOF levy is collected on media spend, which represents roughly 90% of spend on a motion or stills based advertising campaign. Production spend to which The AdGreen Levy applies represents around 7.5%. Therefore, The AdGreen Levy would need to be higher to generate the same level of income. ASBOF and AdGreen budgets required also differ. The AdGreen Levy percentage has been set with these factors in mind.
Is media spend included (i.e. subject to The AdGreen Levy)?
No, AdGreen recommends that media spend is not included when calculating the levy due: only costs to produce an advertising asset should be included – see inclusions and exclusions in the body of the guide.
Is The AdGreen Levy zero rated or except, when it comes to VAT?
For tax purposes, The AdGreen Levy qualifies as a normal advertising expense as per other production costs, however it is outside the scope of VAT, as paying the levy does not reflect a payment for services (therefore it is actually neither exempt nor zero-rated).
I've heard of Ad Net Zero - what's that and how does it relate to AdGreen?
Ad Net Zero is the Advertising Association's net-zero strategy for the advertising industry as a whole, which comprises 5 actions points:
1. Getting your house in order - advertising business operations
2. Curbing emissions from advertising productions
3. Curbing emissions from media planning, buying and distribution
4. Curbing emissions through awards and from events
5. Harnessing advertising's power to support consumer behaviour change
AdGreen exists to support the advertising production industry with action point 2 by providing resources, tools and training to help the community measure and reduce emissions from the production of advertising content.
We've been asked some brilliant questions since we launched the calculator in September 2021, and it's great to be able to share the answers here. We've grouped them into sections for ease - and for a general user support including How To Videos, a Glossary and Quick Start Guide, check out our main calculator page. Details of upcoming calculator webinars can be found on our events page.
Who can use the AdGreen carbon calculator?
The calculator is for the advertising production community and advertisers. Advertising agencies and production companies (the 'contributors') input the activity information, and advertisers, parent companies and production consultants (the 'reviewers') review the carbon data generated by the tool. Users must work for one or more of these company types: brand parent, brand, production consultancy, advertising agency parent, advertising agency, production company, production service company.
What about if I'm based outside the UK?
You're welcome to register your company to use the tool, and log footprint information even if you're based outside of the UK.
Is the calculator free to use?
The tool is free at the point of use. AdGreen is funded by a 0.25% levy on production spend, paid by participating advertisers via their principal production partners (advertising agencies in most cases). The levy funding enables us to provide tools, resources and training to the community at large.
We're a post house, should we sign up?
Unless you also work on productions in your own right, there is no need for you to have an account as the contributor companies will input the information for the items in their respective budgets, including time spent in post-production spaces.
I supply productions with equipment or other service (e.g. catering) - can I have an account?
There is no need for you to have an account as the contributor companies will input the information for the items in their respective budgets, including equipment mileage, number of catering heads and studio power units. Get in touch with your regular clients to see what data you will need to provide on your invoices so that they can complete their footprints more easily. You can also watch our supplier webinar here.
Does the calculator cover 'digital' projects?
Yes. The calculator covers any collection of activities resulting in motion, stills or audio content, which is to be used for advertising purposes, no matter the media it will be used on.
Can I use the calculator for my music video project?
Yes. Music videos advertise the artists who have produced the music. You will need to ask the record company to register as the ‘brand’.
What about an experiential event we're putting together for a client?
No, it's for motion, stills and audio projects only. For events, we'd recommend getting in touch with our friends at Isla and checking out their TRACE carbon calculator.
What about the impact of the media our advertising content will be streamed on?
No, but we recommend checking out the IPA's Media Climate Charter for details of their tool.
Can I calculate the footprint of broadcast production?
BAFTA’s albert are the home of environmental sustainability for film and TV. You can calculate the carbon footprint of your long-form work for broadcast with them, free of charge.
How do I get started?
Check out our How To videos:
For contributor companies only:
For reviewer companies only:
You can also look at our Quick Start Guide, and check out the glossary of key terms to help you get familiar with the terminology we use. You can also join an upcoming webinar/Q&A session or watch a pre-recorded webinar, to get a full run through.
I've requested access to the tool as a new company and haven't heard back yet?
Each company who requests a new account is set up by our small team. We will respond to your request as soon as possible.
I've forgotten my password - how do I reset it?
Enter your email here and if you’re registered to use the tool you will get a reset link. Let us know if it doesn’t come through as you might not be registered. Please also check your junk mail – sometimes they go there!
How do I know if we're the Principal Production Partner or not?
Campaigns are set up by the principal production partner (PPP) who then invite other companies (third party production partners, or TPPPs) to collaborate with them. The PPP is whoever is working directly with the client and will be billing them for the majority of the production costs. In most cases the PPP will be an advertising agency, and the TPPP will be a production company.
We are a production company working direct to client. Can we assume the position of the Principal Production Partner and set up the campaign ourselves?
Yes. In this case, you are the PPP and should set up the campaign and project(s) within it.
We are a production company who are keen to calculate, but the advertising agency (who would be the PPP) isn't engaged with the tool yet. Can we go ahead and set up the project ourselves, even though we're technically the TPPP?
Ideally we'd prefer that the advertising agency registers with the tool themselves and then sets up a campaign and project. However, we understand each company is on their own journey with regards to production sustainability and there are some who are much further ahead than others. If it appears that they won't be registering in time, then please go ahead and create the campaign.
We are an advertising agency who are keen to calculate, but the production company isn't engaged with the tool yet. Can we enter their activities for them?
Ideally we'd prefer that all parties register to use the tool themselves and enter activities as per their budget. However, we understand each company is on their own journey with regards to production sustainability and there are some who are not as far ahead as others. If it appears that they won't be registering in time, then please enter their activities if you are able to obtain enough information to do so.
Can I duplicate my campaign or project?
We understand that to save time, you might want to 'Save As' an old campaign or project in order to start from an old footprint and then make tweaks to reflect the new project you're working on. Unfortunately this functionality isn't available at present, but it's something we have on our dev board.
I'm a PPP and have a job that three TPPPs are bidding on. Is there a way to capture the different bids and compare them?
The easiest way to do this is to create a campaign as normal, and then create 3 projects with the same attributes as needed. One TPPP should be added to each of the projects, and the TPPP should then add the activities in line with their bid/budget. For a full picture, the PPP should also add their activities as relevant to the bid. Only the winning project (bid) should be sent to AdGreen for review, once completed. The other projects can remain 'In Progress', or be deleted. In the future we may add an official 'process' for this into the tool's functionality - sign up to our newsletter for the latest information.
I'm a PPP and trying to add a TPPP to my project, but I can't see the company I'm working with on the drop down list?
This means the company is not yet registered to use the tool. You can invite them to join you and start the registration process via the calculator – this video will show you how.
I want to submit my project for review but the brand are not yet in the tool and so can’t be added to the campaign?
To submit your project for review the campaign it belongs to needs to have a brand assigned. Tried to assign them to the campaign but can’t find the brand you are working with? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the Brand name and a logo and we will add the brand to the tool for you. The brand will then appear in the tool and be ready for when any of their employees engage with the carbon calculator. In the meantime, you can invite the relevant brand contacts to register for an account by inviting them to your campaign - this video will show you how.
What does the AdGreen team do when they are reviewing our footprints?
Once a project has been submitted for review, the AdGreen team will perform a number of sense checks:
- Getting a sense of the project by looking over the attributes provided e.g. number of shoot days, budget etc - this gives an idea of what kind of things we should expect to see and from which contributor company
- Looking at each activity area in relation to the project details, to see if there are any activities we think might be missing, or there that we wouldn't expect, or activities that feel too low or too high against our internal benchmarks
- Looking at the detail of each activity to see if data has been input correctly
From time to time, evidence might be requested to ensure our internal benchmarks are kept in line with reality, e.g. a studio invoice with details of power units per shoot day.
After the review is done, we'll add any messages for the contributors and mark the project as either 'Complete', or 'Amendments Needed'. The contributor companies who need to make amendments will then receive an email notification. After the amendments are made by the relevant parties, the project can be resubmitted for review.
Who gets notifications when projects are submitted for review and when a project is marked as complete?
In both of these cases, the following people will get notifications:
- The individual user who created the project (even if they are an admin)
- Individual users who have been invited to the project from the PPP and TPPP(s)
At present, the following people to do not get notifications:
- Other admins at the PPP who did not create the project (N.B. they can still see the project on login, as they can see all projects for their company)
- Other admins at the TPPP who are not invited to the project (N.B. they can still see the project on login, as they can see all projects for their company)
- Individual users at the PPP and TPPP(s) who are not invited to the specific project
- Individual users at any of the reviewer companies assigned to the project (N.B. they can still see the project on login, as they can see all projects their company is assigned to)
What about when amendments are requested by AdGreen?
When amendments are requested, the AdGreen team indicate in the tool which parties need to make the amendments. Notifications are then sent to the relevant people at the PPP (as per above question) as standard for their reference, and if applicable, to the relevant people at the TPPP too (again as per above question). Individual users at any of the reviewer companies assigned to the project are not sent a notification.
A team member has left my company, do I need to delete their account?
We recommend that company admins manage users, and if users leave the company, their account is deleted. All of the information they have entered will remain in the calculator. They can re-join the calculator with a new email address from their new company when they're ready to use it again. If you have freelance production staff who work with you regularly, you may like to keep their account active, and perhaps just remove them from the campaigns/projects that are now finished.
My contract is finishing, do I need to hand over the campaign or project to another person?
All of the admins at your company will automatically have an overview of the campaign/project and it will remain visible to them after you have finished your contract, even if you or an admin deletes your account. You can also invite other calculator users from your team to the campaign/project before you leave, if you want them to have an overview after you’ve left.
Amendments have been requested on my project footprint, but the TPPP's team members have finished their allocated production time. What can I do?
We recommend filling in the calculator as early in the production as possible in order to complete the footprint before contracts end. If there are only a few items which need to be entered following completion it should only take a few minutes, and could perhaps be accommodated by the TPPP during this learning stage of using the calculator. Alternatively, you can estimate the items based on your own knowledge of the work completed and enter them in to your own part of the footprint.
What is activity information and who enters it into a project?
This is the information about the activities undertaken by the contributor companies in order to create a piece of advertising content. Each contributor inputs the line items they are looking after, which fall into their budget. For a typical TVC or stills campaign shot in your own country, it might look like this:
- Advertising Agency (who are the PPP in this case) enters agency and cast travel, accommodation, evening meals, post production spaces (grade, VFX, sound mix, music, vo etc)
- Production company enters shoot details e.g. casting studio, location and/or studio power, local ground transport, catering, materials purchased and disposal, plus an edit
For a typical TVC or stills campaign shot abroad, it might look like this:
- Advertising Agency (who are the PPP in this case) enters agency and cast travel, accommodation, evening meals, post production
- Production company enters production team travel, edit
- Service company enters shoot details e.g. casting studio, location and/or studio power, local ground transport, catering, materials purchased and disposal
At each company it's usually a producer, production manager or production assistant. We recommend adding draft activity entries for each section as relevant, as placeholders at the start of production. These can then be updated with the actual amounts when known (often this will not be until an invoice arrives or your budget is actualised).
Advertiser/brand users do not input information.
Can I use the tool to show the difference between how we were going to approach a project, and how we did it in reality i.e. to show a reduction?
The quick answer is no. We only need to know about your final, actual footprint so there isn't a 'draft vs actual' feature. We recommend adding draft activity entries for each section as relevant, as placeholders at the start of production. These can then be updated with the actual amounts when known (often this will not be until an invoice arrives or your budget is actualised). Think of it as a working (carbon) budget which you're gradually actualising. You can of course take screen grabs of where you started from, for your own records.
How long will it take to add all of a project's activities?
This depends on a number of factors:
- The scale of the production (the budget, basically)
- The number of locations
- The number of contributor companies involved
- How familiar the contributor companies are with the tool and whether they have used it before
- When the information is logged – we would recommend it’s started early and then simply tweaked as the project progresses, in the same way a budget would be, rather than trying to do it all at the end
- How readily available the information is (i.e. whether suppliers have been notified upfront that they will need to provide specific details and whether they are able to do so at the point of invoicing)
- Whether entries can be grouped together (see next question)
- Whether any amendments are required once the AdGreen team have reviewed the project (see Reviewing question in the section above)
We are gathering feedback from users on the actual time taken, so please do let us know how your team get on.
Can I group entries together?
There will often be opportunities to collate entries. As an example, 25 crew cars can be expressed as a total number of miles rather than individual items, e.g.:
25 medium cars * average of X miles per day return * X shoot days = X miles
Can I input entries based on spend data?
Yes, many of the fields have an option to input by spend, e.g. Taxis, Generator Fuel.
What if we can't get hold of exact numbers?
Some fields have benchmarks you can use instead, e.g. energy consumption in production spaces. For those which don't, the more accurate you can be, the better, however we understand it is not always possible to obtain exact information.
Do we enter production offices in non-filming spaces?
Only if it is a line item in the budget that you're working with. In most cases we expect it won't be, as office overheads are part of markup. However it might be that you're a service company organising an office for a visiting team, and charging this cost back. In this case, yes it should be entered.
Should we enter water or heating for spaces?
Only if it's detailed on your invoice. In most cases we'd not expect to see water consumption or heating included in project footprints.
I'm not sure which types of meals everyone consumed, is there an average option?
Meals are input by type: vegetarian, fish, chicken etc. There isn't currently an 'average' option, but if the caterer is unable to tell you, and no special requests were made of them (e.g. 100% vegan please!), then a 30% veggie 30% fish and 40% beef or chicken is a good rule of thumb. And if you've got people staying overnight, don't forget to include evening meals!
I am buying some props for the production – how do I account for them in the tool?
There are infinite possibilities for props, so individual ones are not currently accounted for in the calculator beyond the available inputs in the Materials section (e.g. Timber, Paint, Textiles). Hiring props is a great way to keep the production's footprint down (although remember to account for their transportation). If you buy something online and then return it, then a best estimate for the journey is fine as we recognise that they won’t necessarily be able to give you the carbon data - although the more requests suppliers get for this information, the more likely they will be to provide this to customers in the future.
Can I set up a test project to get a sense of how it works and train my team?
Yes, we only ask that you do not press the 'Submit for Review' - this notifies the AdGreen team that they need to check the entries submitted before the project is marked as 'Complete' and the data is added to the carbon calculator's overall industry dataset. For good housekeeping, please delete the test project when you're finished exploring.
I'd like my team to have some training on the calculator - what the best way to do this?
They can watch a full walkthrough here, and look through the calculator page of the website, which has all the latest resources, including the How To videos detailed above. We recommend that companies work together internally and set time aside to share skills and get to know the calculator. We'd recommend you ask your regular production partners to do the same. We also hold regular webinars to answer questions and check in with our users – upcoming sessions are here.
How can we make sure our suppliers help us complete footprints as quickly and easily as possible?
Letting them know the information you're likely to need at the time of booking will mean they can provide it more easily when requested. This is another reason to begin your footprint early as it will give you the oversight of what you're going to require. They can also watch our supplier webinar here which shows them how the tool works, and talks through the type of information that production teams will need to complete a footprint.
What does AdGreen do with my personal data, and any commercially sensitive data in the tool, like the details of our production?
Our data protection policy covers this.
How do users agree to the data protection policy?
The data protection policy appears as a pop up when each new user logs into the tool for the first time. The policy must be agreed to before it can be closed. If and when the policy is updated, the pop up with the updated text will reappear when the user next logs in.
How do users agree to the calculator's terms and conditions?
The T&Cs are between the company registered in the tool and AdGreen. During the account registration if the company is a new one which needs to be added to the tool, the person requesting the company set up must agree to the T&Cs. This person must also agree to being an admin (this can be changed later).
What if the T&Cs are updated?
If the T&Cs are updated, all existing admins are notified by email with details of the updates. They take effect 30 days after notification, during which time companies are free to close their accounts in the tool if they no longer agree to the updated T&Cs.
Who can see the budget figure for each project?
Schedule 2 of the tool T&Cs covers which company types do what in the tool, and which company types see what in the tool. The project budget, which is entered by the PPP, can only be seen by the PPP users attached to the project, plus the PPP's admin(s), plus any reviewer company users.
Who can see the detail of the activities entered into each project?
Schedule 2 of the tool T&Cs covers which company types do what in the tool, and which company types see what in the tool. Contributor companies see the detail of their own activities only. For other contributor companies on any given project, they will only see a total amount of co2e, and a breakdown per activity area. Reviewer companies cannot see any detail, only the 'overview' for the project: the pie chart by activity area and bar charts by contributor, along with the project's attributes.
Can I download my campaign or project data?
The ability to download a .csv file of projects, which you'll be able to sort and filter in a multitude of ways, will be available soon. A full reporting dashboard will follow later in 2022. Sign up to our newsletter for updates.
Can I have my project or campaign certified?
Those familiar with albert will know that they offer certification of footprints, which requires a certain number of sustainable production criteria to be met, and evidence provided by the production team is audited by albert staff. We’re looking at what an AdGreen equivalent might look like, along with the resources required to bring it to life, and will have more news later in 2022. Sign up to our newsletter for updates.
How do I purchase offsets?
You can use our hub via the calculator (once a footprint is Complete) or via our website here.
We would like to offset out footprint when it's complete. How much money should I set aside?
We advocate for offsetting ONLY once any available reductions have been made. Once this is done, you can offset via our Natural Capital Partners offsetting hub. Carbon offsetting costs £9 per tonne, and the minimum amount which can be offset is 1 tonne, so it will always cost a minimum of £9. Projects completed in the tool range from 0.05 tonnes (50kg) to just under 80 tonnes. Generally speaking carbon follows cost - a large scale production will likely have a larger footprint.
A good rule of thumb for an average TVC type shoot is 0.5 - 2 tonnes of co2e per shoot day, depending on crew size and lighting consumption, plus any international air travel. You can of course use the calculator to do a rough estimate when you're budgeting a job - the calculator will give you an offset cost as well as a total co2e amount, as soon as you add the first activity.
Who should pay the offsetting costs?
It will be up to the advertiser if they wish to pay for this (and whether they do it directly or via their Principal Production Partner or Third Party Production Partner), and whether they use AdGreen’s offset partner (Natural Capital Partners) or not.
In the future and in line with albert, offsetting will likely be a necessary requirement of certification, which will likely be introduced later in 2022. However, it will be possible to use other offsetting partners that an advertiser of Principal Production Partner may already have in place if evidence of offsetting is provided.
I am already offsetting my unavoidable emissions through an existing partner. Do I need to do it through the AdGreen NCP hub?
Carbon offsetting via our hub is optional. You can use your own offsetting company if you prefer.
Can you share the methodology for the tool?
The core calculator of the tool, including all of it's inputs, formulas and factors, is exactly the same as albert's. You can read their methodology here.
If the renewable/green energy box is not checked, which emission factor is used for the power – average grid carbon intensity or residual grid intensity (i.e. grid factors without green power)?
An average emissions intensity is used as we take a market based approached to accounting for renewable energy.