The UK’s fastest-growing marketing group shares latest carbon footprint data and provides expert analysis on industry progress
MSQ, the carbon negative international creative and technology group, has marked World Earth Day with the launch of its annual Sustainability Report, an in-depth look at the business’ total emissions and emissions per head, as well as breaking down its Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions.
Launched as a low carbon website, which can be found at https://www.sustainability.msqpartners.com/, the report also provides expert analysis on the group and wider industry’s progress in sustainability over the past 12 months, tackling key issues such as developing low carbon digital platforms, creating marketing campaigns that change behaviours and policies, and building momentum around sustainability comms within an organisation.
The report also shares further key resources for other agencies, brands and individuals looking to improve their own sustainability comms, and makes a series of new commitments that MSQ will aim to achieve in the sustainability space over the next 12 months.
Driven by MSQ’s chief sustainability officer, James Cannings, in collaboration with MSQ/Sustain, the group’s dedicated agency to helping commercial brands and NGOs with their sustainability comms, MSQ’s 2023 Sustainability Report reflects the challenges that all professional service businesses face in a ‘post-Covid’ world.
With offices opening up again and in-person initiatives, meetings and events returning, businesses whose footprint are heavily influenced by commuting and business travel have seen a significant rise in emissions over the past 12 months.
MSQ’s report shows the group’s total emissions has risen slightly to 4238.6 metric tons of CO2e in 2022, an increase from 3398.6 metric tones of CO2e in 2021, but a 13% decrease on the group’s 2019 base year.
Scope 1 figures fell from 34.1 metric tons of CO2e in 2021 to 10.5 metric tons in 2022, with Scope 2 figures falling from 234.9 metric tons of CO2e in 2021 to 205.3 metric tons in 2022. However, Scope 3 figures rose from 3129.7 metric tons to 4022.5 metric tons during the same period.
These figures still keep MSQ on track to achieve its 2030 Science Based Targets, with figures lower than industry average thanks to a number of new additional company and staff schemes implemented by the MSQ Sustainability team, such as migrating offices to renewable energy and launching green energy, green transport and personal carbon footprint reduction offers to staff.
MSQ has now planted 173,228 trees through its tree planting partner Ecologi, has 370 employees signed up to sustainability app Giki and has almost 100 employees enrolled on staff offsetting schemes.
James Cannings, chief sustainability officer of MSQ, says, “The fact our 2022 carbon footprint is higher than 2021 is no surprise given the state of the world during the first two years of Covid, and I’m proud of the many efforts we have made to keep reducing our footprint as we aim to hit our Science Based Targets. What the report does show is the need to double-down on behavioural change in 2023 and move towards more impactful carbon removal projects. We have a great Net Zero framework of measurement tools, staff schemes and other sustainability initiatives, and it’s critical that we and all those within the advertising and marketing sectors keep them at the forefront of business operations going forward.”
Among the commitments made by MSQ in its 2023 Sustainability Report is a desire to have planted 300,000 trees as part of its Million Tree Pledge by February 2024, to refresh its staff energy schemes and roll out a series of new international plans, such as sustainable travel initiatives, to its offices in the US, China and Singapore. For the first time the group is also implementing formal internal KPIs focusing on sustainability issues like travel emissions, staff engagement and tree planting.
Richard Armstrong, founder of MSQ/Sustain, says, “It’s imperative that businesses of all sizes are tracking and reporting their carbon emissions as part of their Net Zero journeys. By producing a low carbon Sustainability Report, we hope to inspire others to think innovatively about their own sustainability strategies, through our own insight and key learnings.”
MSQ achieved its goal of becoming one of the first international agency groups to be carbon negative in November 2020. It appointed Cannings as its first chief sustainability officer in April 2021 and set formal Science-Based Targets in October 2021. As part of the Million Tree Pledge Scheme, MSQ has promised to plant one million trees by 2030, and is helping other businesses on their sustainability journey by open-sourcing its modelling tools and Net Zero strategy through a free-to-access course. As of April 2023, over 3,000 businesses have enrolled on the course via the Future Learn platform.
Since launching in 2020, MSQ/Sustain has worked with a number of organisations on their sustainability comms, winning business from Patagonia, AXA Investment Managers and the World Economic Forum. The agency rolled out a ground breaking campaign for Nature Positive at COP27, and also launched a major government-backed commitment on the behalf of the Forest & Climate Leaders’ Partnerships that pledges to halt and reverse forest loss.
Discussion about this post