Sky backs plastic-free chewing gum and insect-based pet food in greener advertising push

Image: Grub Club

Sky has this week announced the winners of the 2023 edition of the Fund, which launched in 2021 and exists to support both sustainability in the media sector, and the provision of free media value to brands with environmental impact built in.

The 2023 edition of the fund took the latter approach. The five brands will each benefit from £250,000 in media value to support advertisement production.

Among them is Upcircle Beauty, a London-based skincare and beauty brand making products from upcycled materials. For example, used coffee grounds are made into body scrubs, and oats that would otherwise have been wasted are ground into powder for use in facial cleanser. Upcircle also runs a refill scheme.

Reusable bottle company Ocean Bottle was also successful. The  British brand is certified as a B Corp and, as well as mitigating single-use plastics by helping people switch to reusables, it funds the collection and management of plastic waste that would otherwise have ended up as marine pollution.

Additionally taking a share of the funding are plastic-free chewing gum brand Milliways; greener cleaning products manufacturer OceanSaver and Grub Club, which makes pet food using insect protein instead of protein from fish or livestock. This helps to reduce the carbon footprint of the food, as insect farming is less carbon-intensive.

Sky’s group director of ‘Bigger Picture’ and sustainability, Fiona Ball, said: “Over the last two years, the Sky Zero Footprint Fund has helped produce 10 exceptional adverts, propelling sustainable brands’ messages onto television to inspire wide, tangible behavioural change.

“Advertising can play a key role in raising awareness of climate issues and inspiring changes in daily habits, so we look forward to seeing the 2023 winners’ adverts on our TV channels.”

The five winners will now produce an advert to present to Sky and a panel of third-party judges. The Advertising Association’s AdGreen arm will assist with production to keep operational environmental impacts to a minimum.

One of the ads will be selected to run on Sky’s channels and benefit from an additional £750,000 in media value.

Last year’s winning brand was Serious Tissues, which sells recycled kitchen roll, toilet paper and tissues as well as plastic-free detergent.

It is estimated that one-third of a person’s individual carbon footprint is attributable to their purchasing of goods and services they became aware of through advertising.

Adverts can push people towards unsustainable choices beyond their own wants and needs – or they can encourage behaviour change towards better choices. In hosting the fund, Sky is hoping to do the latter by supporting smaller brands that don’t often have the spending power to compete with the major players in their sectors.

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