Dentsu International accelerates industry leadership with substantial progress on environmental, social targets during 2020

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Dentsu International today announced strong performance against its 2020 Social Impact strategy and sustainability goals. The 2020 Social Impact Highlights Report highlights how despite global disruption linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, dentsu continued the integration of the company’s Social Impact strategy into business services and operations, responding to increasing client interest in sustainability, and high levels of engagement amongst its global employees has combined to accelerate year on year progress.  

 Year-on-year, dentsu reported strong results against its environmental and social targets, and led the industry in being the first to achieve both RE100 accreditation for its sourcing of 100% renewable electricity, and external validation of its 2030 Net Zero target by the Science Based Target Initiative. The strong results are reflected in its CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) rating – in 2020 dentsu international achieved an A- for the second year running, the highest rating in its sector. 

Amongst the highlights reported: 

  • Reducing absolute carbon emissions by 39% across its operations in 2019, putting dentsu well ahead of target to achieve its Net Zero target for Scope 1 and 2 emissions
  • Achieving full RE100 status by switching 100% of operations to renewable electricity (where markets allow)[1].
  • Supporting young people and women disproportionately affected by COVID-19 by moving the company’s flagship global diversity and digital social impact programmes online, reaching almost 30,000 young people and 105 entrepreneurs since launch
  • Increasing the number of women at leadership level to 35%, with a new commitment for women to hold half of all senior executive positions by 2025. 
  • Reaching 3.7bn people in collaboration with its clients, through campaigns related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Embedding sustainability into its business model including ESG KPIs in the executive balanced scorecard and sustainability into leadership behaviours.

Wendy Clark, Global CEO, dentsu international, said: “The Report sets out not only strong results but an even greater ambition to transform sustainably, setting an example to our sector and other businesses. Our social impact strategy has a powerful role to play not only in creating meaningful change, but also in being a distinctive factor in the insights and services we provide to clients, and our ability to attract and develop the best people in our industry.”

Anna Lungley, Chief Sustainability Officer, dentsu international, said: “2020 was a pivotal year for dentsu. The pandemic forced a strategic rethink and an agile response. In a year where we couldn’t be together physically, our people came together to deliver strong results across the board. What’s clear now is that action on climate change and protecting nature are inseparable from progress on equality and global health and we must accelerate action. At dentsu we recognise the huge opportunity and responsibility we have to raise awareness, influence human and societal behaviour and to collaborate with our clients to transform business models. Together we can inspire people everywhere to a new way of living.”

Focusing on its 2030 Social Impact strategy, the report highlights how dentsu is targeting client work to manage the advertising industry’s ‘brainprint’ – the ability it has to shape societal attitudes and human behaviour, aiming to help one billion people make better, more sustainable choices by 2030, and integrating sustainable behaviours into core services and campaign development

 Dentsu International recently announced a target to reduce flight emissions by 65% by 2030 as part of its ambitious Net Zero strategy. In addition, dentsu is committed to quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions of all media placed for clients and helping to reduce these emissions in line with its own science-based reduction target. By 2030, dentsu targets emissions reduction associated with media by 46%.