Media Environmental Sustainability

Sky unveils £2m ad fund to support climate-conscious brands


By John Glenday | Reporter

March 30, 2021 | 4 min read

Sky has launched a £2m fund to harness the power of TV to fast-track five sustainability initiatives.


Sky unveils £2m ad fund to support climate-conscious brands

The ‘Sky Zero Footprint Fund’ is open to brands, media agencies and creative agencies, with the most powerful idea handed £1m in advertising support. Four runners up will be awarded a further £250,000 each.

Championing green brands

  • Sky is putting its money where its mouth is for its Sky Zero campaign to achieve net-zero carbon by 2030.

  • Allocating £2m towards the initiative, Sky will support brands harnessing the medium of television to promote positive behavioral change in the sustainability arena.

  • Media agencies, creative agencies and brands are encouraged to participate by bringing forward advertising ideas that support businesses develop their sustainability goals.

  • A panel of high-profile judges will evaluate entries based on their commitment to zero carbon ideals.

  • Judges include ad guru Sir John Hegarty, Thinkbox chief exective officer Lindsey Clay, GroupM UK boss Karen Blackett and Advertising Association chief executive, Stephen Woodford.

Why it matters

  • Brands are increasingly embracing environmentally-friendly initiatives not only to save the planet but to bolster their cache, with sustainability leaders often outperforming their outdated competitors financially.

  • This was thrown into stark relief by a 2020 Deloitte survey which found that brand purpose has become a key metric for chief marketing officers to pursue post-pandemic, chasing a fifth of consumers who are willing to vote with their purchases on brands that take action on issues that are important to them.

  • A separate study by Unilever established that 33% of consumers now select brands based on their perceived position on social issues and their environmental footprint.

  • Sky’s group chief marketing, corporate affairs and people officer, Debbie Klein, who will also serve on the panel, said: “At Sky, we have pledged to be net-zero carbon by 2030, but we understand that we’re all in this together and as a media industry, we have a duty to use our voice to drive tangible change."

  • Sky’s initiative can be set against a UK ad industry collaboration supported by Accenture, Channel 4, Google, WPP and Unilever designed to assist advertisers in achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Ok, anything else?

  • Interested parties can apply between 6 April and 14 May with 10 brands chosen from all entries to duke it out in a live/virtual pitch to lay claim to the £2m prize money.

  • This process will whittle down the competition to just five winners who will be revealed in June, with the headline winner to be revealed in October.

  • As a minimum prerequisite, all adverts must be produced in line with the Advertising Association's AdGreen standards.

Media Environmental Sustainability

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