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WFA adds drinks giants and Ikea to Planet Pledge

The WFA would like marketers to take more action against the impending climate crisis

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has secured Asahi Europe & International, Carlsberg Group, Pernod Ricard and Ikea – joining Unilever, Diageo, Mastercard, Dole and Tesco – to a series of commitments to act on the climate emergency.

The pledge, which launched in April 2021, urges brand leaders to commit to championing a shift to a zero-carbon economy internally and use their advertising to drive greener consumer behavior. This came after it found the industry to be lagging behind other sectors in sustainability in a WFA study.

Months later, the four multinational giants make it 13, with 21 national advertiser associations.

The pledge aims for chief marketing officers to:

  • Commit to being a champion for the global Race to Zero campaign, both internally within their organizations and encouraging their marketing supply chain to do the same;

  • Scale the capability of marketing organizations to lead for climate action by providing tools and guidance for their marketers and agencies;

  • Harness the power of their marketing communications to drive more sustainable consumer behaviors; and

  • Reinforce a trustworthy marketing environment, where sustainability claims can be easily substantiated so that consumers can trust the marketing messages they are presented with as they seek to align their own consumption with their values.

The WFA has committed to reporting annually on progress. In particular, it wants to “evolve the language of environmental claims” to ensure brands really are delivering on what they pledge.

Stephan Loerke, WFA chief executive officer, said: “In light of the recent UN IPCC report, which lays bare the challenge of climate change, it’s vital that our members commit to not only reducing their impact but also to educating consumers about how they can have an impact too.

“Addressing climate change can seem complex, but marketing teams have the skills to make it easier for everyone to understand how they can make a real difference. Joining the WFA Planet Pledge is a serious statement of intent; we look forward to more brands signing up in the future and seeing how marketers can take the lead on addressing the world’s most pressing challenge.”

Grant McKenzie, chief marketing officer at Asahi, said joining the pledge was “intuitive” to the brand. Meanwhile, Robbie Millar, vice-president of global marketing at Carlsberg Group, said the “targets are ambitious and very much in line with our own”.

Previously The Drum probed agencies about how they are trying to combat the climate disaster, a worsening topic that will become a greater part of daily communications as the effects become wider felt.

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