In what the company said is a first for the industry, Interpublic Group and its agencies are now proactively reviewing the climate impacts of prospective clients that operate in the oil, energy and utility sectors before accepting new work.
IPG said it was working with climate change consultant Planet + Purpose Solutions to develop a set of questions that the company expects prospective clients to affirm before agreeing to partner with them.
The questions include:
Have these potential clients set specific emission reduction goals that are aligned with 1.5°C ambition to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 or sooner with no greater than 10% off-setting?
Are these companies publishing clear climate reporting, including scope, baseline, timeline, and the tracking of Scopes 1,2 and 3 emissions?
Are their goals in line with the goals IPG has made in our own ecosystem, and reported on publicly?
Have these companies ceased any controversial forms of oil and gas production?
Additionally, IPG said that it would not support or engage in marketing or communications aimed at influencing public policy that seeks to extend the life of fossil fuels.
IPG said it has turned down several potential new business opportunities as a result of the new policy.
Currently, a small number of IPG agencies create marketing for oil, gas and utility companies. “And while some of the work that these agencies have contributed to in the past would not live up to our current standards, we are committed to aligning all future work on behalf of these clients to our company’s sustainability values.”
IPG has also committed to reviewing our approach of working with clients in this sector on a bi-annual basis.
CEO Philippe Krakowsky stated, “The transition to cleaner forms of energy is critical for all of us, but it can’t and won’t happen overnight. A reliable energy supply is crucial to all people and businesses… So, while we continue working in this space with our existing client base, we have also taken steps to revise how we consider our work going forward, consistent with our commitment to sustainability.”