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Havas goes green, others will follow

July 28, 2007

Last week, the French communication giant Havas announced it plans to make itself into a greener company by outlining a set of initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint.

The goal is to reduce company-wide C02 by 20% by 2009.

The bulk of the initiative is based on buying carbon offsets, but it also includes employee training and reductions backs on energy, paper and business travel.

Expect every global agency network to announce a similar initiaitve in the coming weeks.

The energy produced creating and running ads in considerable.

So look out for green production companies, TV spots created using wind power (BBDO’s ad for GE’s wind power initiatives should be produced using wind power?), more glossy magazines printed on recycled paper, solar powered radio stations and greener search engines.

Obviously, product designers will have the opportunity to make the most difference and recently frog design threw down the gauntlet with a plan for a Kyoto style treaty that asks for the following actions.


  • Helping craft a larger social equity protocol for the design community
  • Publicly ratifying that agreement, and committing to its compliance
  • Contributing to the communal knowledge base for sustainable design
  • Advancing the intellectual understanding of environmental issues from a design perspective


  • Offering green analysis to clients, or partnering with others to conduct this analysis
  • Providing material alternatives for sustainable product development
  • Investigating manufacturing processes and rewarding green innovation
  • Minimizing environmental impact from prototyping or model-making activity
  • Publicly reporting the carbon footprint of our firms
  • Becoming educated about the environmental impact of our work

It’s unlikely that we will see the global communication networks coming together to create such initiaitve, instead we expect agencies to try and use this as a source of competitive advantage.

However, media organizations might be the ones who start working together to issue standards and plans to tackle the climate change issue.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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