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Measure, Manage, Mitigate: Tag’s Approach to Sustainability is Rooted in Tech

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Tamara Lover, divisional director at Tag, writes about understanding the industry’s impact on the environment and approaching sustainability through the lens of tech

Measure, Manage, Mitigate: Tag’s Approach to Sustainability is Rooted in Tech

On the 15th of June, 2022, Tag hosted a sustainability talk as part of their ‘Tag Talks @ Breakfast’ series of events, to help clients understand how to kickstart a greener approach to production. 

Sustainability is probably the hottest word in our industry right now and it shows no signs of cooling down. Everyone is concerned about looking sustainable, but how many of us truly are? And, more importantly, how many of us are taking the necessary steps to improve sustainability where possible? 

We know that consumers are increasingly concerned about the environment and this is especially true for younger consumers and families with children, according to research presented by Steve Brockway, chief research officer at Maru, shared at the Shopper Insights Conference. Still, there’s a gap between concern and behaviour as consumers don’t always pick the greenest options. However, they do report having a high expectation of brands today as they feel that brands are able to make a bigger impact on the environment through their actions than consumers individually. They found that 58% of consumers ‘strongly agree’ that companies and brands have a responsibility to act on green issues. 

When it comes to production, we know that the consumers are right - there’s a lot we can do to make the process cleaner and greener. Wastage in marketing remains a problem as there’s always an incentive to produce more and more, whether that’s POS materials, ads, or ‘fun’ tie-in merchandise that so often ends up gathering dust in a warehouse. The missing step is asking what really needs to be made new again, what purpose will it serve, and can something that already exists be repurposed. When a client asked for footage of the Manhattan skyline, we suggested reusing the hours of footage we had created previously, tweaking it in post-production to achieve the desired effect. It was a simple suggestion that saved CO2 and precious budget in the process. 

Agencies in the UK emit over 884,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, with creative production contributing the bulk as it’s embedded in a complex ecosystem of carbon-intensive activities like travel and supply chains. In real tonnes, the emissions are equivalent to needing to plant 54 million trees to offset the activities - an impossible number to fathom. Preventing, rather than offsetting is then where our efforts should be directed. 

At Tag, we’ve been helping our clients to create more sustainable campaigns for a while now. We’ve distilled a few key questions that we ask ourselves and our clients every time, offering tech-based solutions at each stage.


How do we maximise what we shoot?

- Planning smarter is essential to reducing the cost and emissions from shoots. By bundling together equipment, crews, transport, catering, props and all the other shoot elements into a few set calendar dates (as opposed to dispersing the shoots throughout the year), we’re maximising output without maximising emissions. 

- Virtual sets are becoming more common and bring great benefits. They reduce the number of sets that need to be built, minimise prop wastage, reduce travel, and are infinitely adaptable to different campaigns.

- Lidar 3-D mapping is another great way to shoot once and re-imagine endlessly, reducing (and sometimes eliminating) the need to execute future shoots. 


How do we optimise what we already have? 

- Synthetic media creation allows us to utilise technology to create stock imagery at scale when needed, which translates to lower energy output and fewer shoots.

- Automating relevant elements of the production process allows for better reuse of efficiently generated assets.


How do we measure our progress? 

- Measuring, managing, and mitigating are vital in understanding the environmental impact of what we do as an industry. By measuring our impact, we can have a realistic picture of where we are today. By managing the impact, we begin to identify the areas where we can employ the quickest wins versus the areas that need mid and long-term sustainable strategies. Mitigation is the final step, allowing us to implement the changes and re-measure to ensure that progress is being made and that our actions are leading to a reduction in emissions. 

- The AdGreen Calculator is an invaluable industry tool to measure the impact of still and film shoots, one that we use all the time to give us a realistic picture of every shoot’s impact. 

- Tag’s proprietary DI Planet tool meticulously tracks all the data collected on each shoot and gives a 360 look at all elements of the production process. The data can then be used for ultimate visibility; to compare different shoots, look at differences year-on-year, and measure the impact of small and big changes to the production process. 

Instead of feeling powerless about the impact of our industry on the environment, we have the tools to start reducing our emissions today. What’s needed is the desire from everyone for more visibility and transparency about the resources we use and how we use them. Ultimately, by measuring, managing, and mitigating during every stage of the production process, we can change the course of production’s future. 

view more - The Sustainability Channel
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Genres: Dialogue, People

Categories: Environment, Corporate, Social and PSAs

Tag, Tue, 05 Jul 2022 11:41:00 GMT