Our Goal: To be Fully Carbon Positive by 2023

April 22, 2022

Our Goal: To be Fully Carbon Positive by 2023


Since our founding in 2015, we’ve always believed in taking a stand where it mattered most. For us, that meant evolving and adapting our practices to adhere to new standards of corporate behavior, all designed to support our role as a purpose-driven agency dedicated to helping clients make good money. 

To this end, we took the steps to become a Certified B Corp and a Public Benefit Corporation. We were also one of the original 50 companies globally to successfully petition the UN Human Rights Council to declare the right to a healthy environment as a human right. We firmly believe that the right to a healthy environment is a universal human right.

Now we’re assessing our own role in the chaos of climate change and taking steps, albeit small ones, to help find a solution. As such, we’re setting a goal of being 100%carbon positive by next year, in effect offsetting double the volume of GHG we generate. To do this, we’re reexamining every aspect of our operations as an agency. 

We’ve also partnered with the European-based greentech company Plan A to develop a rigorous, science-based approach to calculating our carbon consumption and develop a set of decarbonization tools and practices designed to maximize its efficiency and sustainability. We’ve dubbed this effort OBERGREEN, and announced it, appropriately enough, on Earth Day 2022.

Plan A is a leader in this growing field of decarbonization, and works for companies such as BMW, Société Générale, VMLY&R, Trivago and many others. They’ll help us measure such areas as co-working spaces, commutation, business travel and ad production. They’re also going to work with us to develop a module by which we can measure other Scope 3 areas such as media, which presents a much more complex challenge to accurately calculate. 

“As we live this belief in practice, we’re committed to managing environmental impact as an integral part of our operations,” says our co-founder and CEO, Drew Train. “In particular, it’s our policy to assure the environmental integrity of our processes and facilities at all times.”

“This will take a concerted effort on the part of everyone here,” adds co-founder and CCO Bill Oberlander, “but we can’t not do this. As an agency dedicated to fostering progressive social change, we need to take a leadership role in this area, and that’s what we hope to achieve with our carbon positive plan.”

We intend for our process to be transparent and open-sourced, and will share our findings,  experiences and approach with other agencies and media companies. Our approach will be adaptable to any sized enterprise, and represents, we hope, an early step in the ad industry’s ongoing push to address its overall environmental impact on society.”

Plan A has worked with a number of leading companies in Europe and the US to help it develop carbon footprint calculations and decarbonization action plans – and we all know how much farther ahead European companies and societies are when it comes to addressing environmental problems than we are in the States. Working with data and climate scientists, they’ve developed software that helps businesses monitor and reduce their emissions while improving their ESG performance and mitigating their negative impact on the planet.

Our goal here is to continually improve our work to be as efficient and sustainable as possible, and we intend to be as thorough in this as we possibly can be. And while we’ve set a goal of 100% carbon positive by the end of 2024, we see this as a journey with no real end point. We’ll always be working at getting better when it comes to our social impact, whether that has to do with the causes and brands we promote or the physical effect we have on the world around us.

To read our full Environmental Impact Statement, click on the PDF icon below. 

OBERLAND Environmental Impact Statement

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