Decarbonising the digital economy
Business as usual is no longer enough, best in class environmental performance is now a license to operate. We recognise the role that we have played in driving consumption on a planet with constrained resources. We must use the power we have through our core offering, to help the world find a better way.
We believe that for business growth to be truly sustainable, we must accelerate the transition to a low carbon future and reduce the impact of climate change by becoming a Net Zero emissions business by 2050. We are proud to be part of a select, but growing, number of organisations that are aiming for the highest level of climate ambition to prevent a rise about 1.5°C, in order to mitigate the most dangerous effects of climate change.
Our Net Zero strategy is underpinned by a new Science Based Target aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, committing dentsu to reducing our absolute Scope 1, 2 and 3 Greenhouse Gas emissions by 46% by 2030 (from a 2019 base year). Where we cannot decarbonise directly, we will work to neutralise any residual emissions through investing in projects that sequester carbon from the atmosphere and deliver co-benefits aligned with dentsu’s wider Social Impact strategy and delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2020 we became the first in our industry to become powered by 100% renewable energy, and we will continue our commitment to be powered by renewables in all countries in which we operate in support of our commitment to RE100, and our transition to Net Zero.
Sustainable production and consumption
But the radical decarbonisation of our business and value chain is only the first step. We also recognise that as a digital communications and marketing network, the biggest impact we have is in our ability to change mindsets and influence behaviours. We can raise awareness and inspire people to take action to combat the climate crisis and to live more sustainable lifestyles.
We believe sustainable production and consumption is about creating balance between the needs of the planet and our needs as individuals, businesses, and communities. At present we have an imbalance. Over the next decade we are committed to helping 1 billion people make better, more sustainable choices.
As a global leader in media and digital communications, we recognise the opportunity and responsibility we have to help our clients decarbonise their media spend, and we are committed to objectively and transparently assessing the emissions associated with our placement of digital advertising.
Calculating the emissions from digital advertising presents a complex challenge, with little accurate data to verify calculations to date. So, we partnered with Bristol University’s Department of Computer Science along with some of the world’s most innovative media companies to launch DIMPACT; a web-based tool that calculates the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with serving media content – downstream from the point of content production, including the end user.
Our collaboration with DIMPACT is part of a wider workstream to interrogate the emissions associated with digital advertising on behalf of our clients. By working with our media and technology partners, we are building an accurate picture of the emissions associated with the placement of different digital media types. This will allow us to provide our customers with the verifiable data they need to assess the carbon impact of their own digital media strategies with dentsu and select lower carbon alternatives. This work will also provide transparent data for reporting and decision making for our clients. Helping them to deliver on their own Net Zero ambitions.
We can’t solve the climate emergency without nature as our ally. Dentsu has signed up to Business for Nature’s Call to Action asking governments to adopt ambitious nature policies.
We recognise the need for ambitous action on nature and we welcome the initial guidance from the Science Based Targets Initiative on targets for nature.
As a part of our net zero transformation, underpinning our wider social impact strategy, we will integrate actions, targets and strategies that tackle nature loss, climate change and social inequality together.
Advocating for change
A shift to a sustainable, net zero world is a journey for our clients and society, with no single solution, so engaging with a wide a range of stakeholders to advocate for change is a critical enabler of our social impact strategy.
We collaborate with international stakeholders relevant to our industry, clients and the communities in which we work. We share insights and experiences, collaborate on industry initiatives to drive ambition, and engage with clients and policy makers on multi-lateral platforms that engage policy and government in the issues that core to our strategy and society’s transition to a net zero world.
As an organisation with the potential to influence consumer and societal behaviour and action, we have a responsibility to engage proactively with clients and stakeholders to advocate for change and ambition. Examples include:
UN Global Compact: We are members of this long standing voluntary business initiative based to take strategic action to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Dentsu is a member of WBCSD, a global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum's Alliance of climate leaders is a coalition of CEO's from around the world and from across industry sectors committed to delivering concrete climate solutions and innovations in their practices, operations and policies.
Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership – Business Transformation Group
Dentsu is the only sector member of this innovative group of leading businesses for sustainability who develop new thinking and solutions to share with businesses to support the transformation journey towards a sustainable economy.
Ad Net Zero
We are a member of the Ad Net Zero steering group helping to reduce the carbon impact of the UK advertising industry to real net zero.
Business for Nature
Business for Nature is a global coalition bringing together influential organisations and forward-thinking businesses. Together, we demonstrate business action and call for ambitious and collective action on nature.
Responsible Media Forum
We are founding members of the Responsible Media Forum, a partnership between 25 leading media companies to further how the industry’s unique influence can benefit society as well as shareholders.
We are members of Sustainable Brands, a global community of brand innovators who are helping to share the future of commerce worldwide.
Global Alliance of Responsible Media
dentsu is a strategic partner and Chair of GARM, a global collaboration of agencies, media platforms and industry associations to rapidly improve digital safety and drive accountability across the industry.