New Book Calls for Advertising to Help Accelerate the Sustainable Economy

A new book, Sustainable Advertising – How advertising can support a better future, is to be published by Kogan Page on March 3 with a case for change and a manifesto for advertising to help build a sustainable economy. It has been written by Advertising Association Communication Director, Matt Bourn and Ad Net Zero Chair, Sebastian Munden, and aims to equip readers with the expertise needed to seize the opportunities of the sustainable economy and play a critical role in its acceleration. The book describes how everyone involved in the advertising industry can help: from the way the work is made and distributed, to the product, service, and behaviour it promotes.

Sustainable Advertising provides a clear action plan for agencies, brands, media owners, tech platforms and individuals in a global effort to decarbonise rapidly and help support, and where possible, speed up the transition to a more sustainable way of life. It builds on the Ad Net Zero 5-point action plan and draws together interviews, insights, research, reports, and case studies from more than 70 global, international and UK organisations across the advertising, sustainability, and political landscape. Contributors include specialists from the Advertising Standards Authority, the Behaviour Insights Team, Cannes Lions, Channel 4, dentsu, Google, GroupM, ITV, Meta, NatWest, Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, PwC, Tesco, the Tony Blair Institute, Unilever, the World Federation of Advertisers, and WPP, plus many more from the global advertising community.

Matt Bourn, Director of Communications, Advertising Association, said: “The way we tackle climate action is central to the reputation, now and future, of the advertising industry. If the industry mobilises fast and in the right way, it can make a powerful and lasting positive contribution to the global battle against climate change. We have no time to lose and everything to gain.”

Sebastian Munden, Chair, Ad Net Zero, said: “This book is a call-to-action to marketing and advertising, a manifesto to fully engage with the opportunities of the sustainable economy and help accelerate a shift to a more sustainable way of working and living. It’s full of strategies, tools, and research we can all use, and shares case studies of companies that are leading the way.”

Bourn and Munden outline the key steps that agencies, brands, media owners, tech platforms, and every professional who works there can take to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their positive environmental impact. Topics covered include how to avoid greenwashing, how to decarbonise the operations, production, and distribution of advertising and how to pitch more sustainable products, services, and behaviours to have mass appeal to customers.

The book explores the big behaviour changes that are needed and why – presenting multiple case studies, showcasing examples of sustainable advertising, practical guides and tools – and describes what ‘good’ looks like in sustainable advertising, now and future. It also details customer behaviour change research and insights that support a sustainable future, how to measure (and take responsibility for) advertising’s impact, and how to align climate action with personal purpose to build a rewarding career.

All author profits from the sales of Sustainable Advertising will go towards the future funding of Ad Net Zero, the climate action initiative which is creating tools, resources, and training to support the world’s advertising industry drive to help tackle climate change.

Testimonials about Sustainable Advertising

 “If you have ever asked yourself where to begin in the quest to create a more sustainable tomorrow, this book is without a doubt where you should start.”

Dame Annette King DBE, Global Lead, Marketing, Accenture Song, and Chair, Advertising Association

 “Advertising has a powerful influence on how people behave, and this is as relevant to climate action as it is to consumer trends. This book tells us everything we need to know to make climate action happen.”

Dame Carolyn McCall DBE, Chief Executive, ITV

 “To transform our economies to become sustainable for the future, the use of the advertising medium is the ultimate message – and this is the ultimate and indispensable guide on how to deliver the message and the change we all need to embark on.”

Rt Hon Chris Skidmore OBE, former UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister and Chair, the Independent Net Zero Review

About the authors

Matt Bourn is Director of Communications for the Advertising Association, based in London, UK. He helps to steer the industry’s work around Climate Action, including the formation of Ad Net Zero. With 25 years’ experience, previously he was Managing Director of Braben, working for companies such as Sky, Channel 4, Disney, and Sony.

Sebastian Munden is a strategy and communications adviser, based in London, UK. He is also Chair of WRAP (The Waste & Resources Action Programme) and has been Chair of Ad Net Zero since its inception. He worked at Unilever for 30+ years applying the principles of business as a force for good to create value for all stakeholders, lastly as CEO of the UK and Ireland business.

For more information about the book, please visit

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