Reducing the environmental impact of billboard campaigns

WPP companies are finding creative ways to reduce the environmental impacts of campaign materials, and to raise consumer awareness.

In Belgium, LDV United created a 100% recycled outdoor campaign for Lampiris, a 100% green electricity provider. The agency screen-printed the ads on other brands’ surplus posters, which otherwise would have gone to waste.

In India over 150,000 tonnes of vinyl flex, a material used in advertising billboards, is disposed of every day. Typically this waste is burnt in landfills, contributing to air pollution. Star Jalsha, India’s leading Bengali general entertainment channel, wanted to tackle this problem by changing the way it disposed of its advertising billboards. Ogilvy & Mather Kolkata created a campaign in the spirit of Star Jalsha’s brand philosophy Chalo Paltai, which means Let’s change. Instead of sending old billboards to landfill, the vinyl flex was extracted and recycled into reusable objects like shopping bags and table mats. O&M designed the items and distributed them for free around Kolkata. Radio spots, a micro-website and Facebook were used to promote the campaign. Several prominent figures from the Bengali film industry joined the initiative. To date, Star Jalsha has recycled almost 1,700 tonnes of vinyl flex.

In 2013, Star Jalsha won the Sustainable Marketing Excellence award at the Bloomberg Brand Leadership Awards for its Chalo Paltai initiative.