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. And if you have a question you’d like answered, get in touch.
USING ADGREEN'S RESOURCES, TOOLS & TRAINING
We're new to AdGreen - what's this all about?
Download our 2 pager, which has all of the key points for starters, including the main things you can ‘do’. Our 1 pager, which details how we are funded – we don’t operate a membership model as such, we are levy funded by the advertisers, meaning we can keep our resources, tools and training free for everyone. Both documents can be downloaded on our About Us page.
I want to reduce the impact of my production, where do I start?
Start by reviewing the resources guide and entering some rough info into a new project on the carbon calculator. This will give you an idea of where the biggest chunks of carbon are - and what you might be able to do about them. The earlier you start, the better.
I'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 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
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 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 email@example.com to find out more.
What does it cost to do the training?
The sessions are free to those in the industry, as the overall project is funded by a levy, paid by participating advertisers but collected by ‘principal production partners’ (advertising agencies in most cases) on our behalf before being passed to us quarterly.
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 and production case studies. The sessions are not specific to the calculator although it is lightly touched upon. Training on how to use the tool will be done via tutorial videos and webinars - see our Eventbrite page for all of the latest training sessions and calculator webinars.
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
CARBON FOOTPRINT BASICS
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. Our friends over at albert, working predominantly with film and TV, have been measuring the industry’s impact for the past few years and now know that approximately 9.17 tonnes of CO2 are expended in the making of one hour of broadcast content (as of 2019), with huge differences between genres and types of productions.
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. We know from albert's data that transport is likely to generate the most emissions on a project - especially if you're flying - and then energy used to power spaces and so on. 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 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.
THE ADGREEN LEVY
See the full levy guide for further FAQs relating to the levy.
Is there a deadline to register as a Collector or Payer?
No, although the quicker an organisation does, the more oversight we have as to the level of engagement throughout the industry.
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, or PPP), it shouldn’t be added to budgets (otherwise their costs will be ‘double levied’ when the actual PPPs, 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 PPP.
We’re an advertiser - how can we make it clear to our agencies that we want to participate, once we’ve registered with AdGreen?
As well as letting us know who your Principal Production Partner(s) is/are when you register, you can use the resources on our levy page to help you communicate your intentions to them. 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 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.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
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:
- Getting your house in order - advertising business operations
- Curbing emissions from advertising productions
- Curbing emissions from media planning, buying and distribution
- Curbing emissions through awards and from events
- 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.