With COP 28 taking place between 30th November and 12th December alongside 2023 drawing to a close, it’s time to reflect on another year gone by: the successes and actions taken, and our areas of focus for the future. Ocean Outdoor is a member of Ad Net Zero and we have a public pledge: to reduce carbon emissions by 42% by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement, with the aim of reaching net zero by 2040. We are proud of the progress made to-date. However, we recognise there is still lots to do.

Right now, we are working to understand our emissions and to reduce them as far as possible. We also believe that the OOH sector and the wider advertising industry shouldn’t wait until that work is done before committing money and time to carbon removal, planet repair and restoration.

By adopting a meaningful, science and contribution-based approach, Ocean is seeking a rigorous and long term form of corporate climate activism.

Our response to the climate crisis so far

We have been working with Watts Sustainability to establish our baseline carbon footprint across Scopes 1, 2 AND 3 in the UK, the Nordics and the Netherlands, establishing firm decarbonisation targets on our voyage towards reaching net zero by 2040. This work has been ongoing since 2020.

Helping us to deliver on our goals is Sustainability Specialist Peter Watts who says: “Climate action and sustainability has turned from a nice to have to a core strategic concern for organisations – and this is definitely true in the world of advertising and out-of-home – it is important that we take urgent and deep action. This has included Ocean adopting short-term carbon targets and a longer term net zero target based on climate science, developing a decarbonisation plan to deliver on these and working to upskill their people on sustainability across the different territories they operate in.

The approach taken reflects the latest thinking on decarbonisation and avoiding greenwash with a focus on reducing their own emissions rather than relying on carbon offsets as a proxy for action.”

At Ocean, our progress so far covers everything from infrastructure improvements to staff volunteer days (litter-picking on World Ocean Day and more recently helping out at Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust), to creating our 18 rewilding sites and bee hotels. Since 2019, all electricity sourced and paid for by Ocean is 100% green, we do not operate our screens on a 24/7 basis and we moved to LEDs years ago, which typically burn about 10% of their energy as heat (vs 98% with an incandescent light bulb).

The answers are in the Ocean

From 1st January 2024, we are also pledging a percentage of our annual revenue uplift to four Ocean-based projects: carbon coastal removal, turtle hatching protection, plastic removal and coral protection.

A media first for the out of home (OOH) industry, when buying and planning campaigns across Ocean’s UK assets, our agency partners will be able to vote on their favourite projects for the portion of revenue to go towards.

You will be able to see exactly where the funds are spent and the impact they have, bringing complete transparency and engagement to what has historically been opaque commitments.

Ocean’s position is informed by scientific evidence which shows that many carbon offset programmes have no environmental value and sadly do very little or nothing to mitigate global warming. According to research, 70% of the $2billion spent globally on carbon avoidance or removal projects has little to no impact – and sometimes even negative consequences.

Our four chosen projects for 2024 have been verified by our partners, the sustainability platform, Pinwheel, which supports planet-saving initiatives.

Drops in the Ocean 2024

For the third year running, we have reopened our annual Drops in the Ocean advertising programme for charities and non-profits working in the fields of climate change, the biodiversity crisis and marine pollution.

Applicants have until 25th January 2024 to apply for the chance to win advertising space across our UK screens.

Some of the smaller causes would really benefit from creative resource, so if you know a designer who would be keen to help, please get in touch. For further details please click here.

Ocean is a supporter of Ad Net Zero. To find out about the other initiatives in Ocean’s sustainability programme, click here.

Coral Restoration Foundation OOH campaign on Ocean screens
Ranger Lab OOH campaign on Ocean screens
WWT OOH campaign on Ocean screens

Ocean Networks

The location is available as part of a network, please see below for details.

Please contact us on [email protected] to find out more.