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MSQ marks World Earth Day with launch of 2023 Sustainability Report


Kirath Pahdi


23 Apr 2023


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This year we’ve marked World Earth Day with the launch of our annual Sustainability Report, an in-depth look at MSQ’s total emissions and emissions per head, as well as breaking down our Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions.  

Launched as a low carbon website, which can be found at https://www.sustainability.msqpartners.com/, the report also provides expert analysis on the group and wider industry’s progress in sustainability over the past 12 months, tackling key issues such as developing low carbon digital platforms, creating marketing campaigns that change behaviours and policies, and building momentum around sustainability comms within an organisation.   

The report also shares further key resources for other agencies, brands and individuals looking to improve their own sustainability comms, and makes a series of new commitments that MSQ will aim to achieve in the sustainability space over the next 12 months. 

Driven by our Chief Sustainability Officer, James Cannings, in collaboration with MSQ/Sustain, our dedicated agency to helping commercial brands and NGOs with their sustainability comms, the MSQ 2023 Sustainability Report reflects the challenges that all professional service businesses face in a ‘post-Covid’ world.  

With offices opening up again and in-person initiatives, meetings and events returning, businesses whose footprint are heavily influenced by commuting and business travel have seen a significant rise in emissions over the past 12 months.  

Our report shows the group’s total emissions has risen slightly to 4238.6 metric tons of CO2e in 2022, an increase from 3398.6 metric tones of CO2e in 2021, but a 13% decrease on the group’s 2019 base year.  

Scope 1 figures fell from 34.1 metric tons of CO2e in 2021 to 10.5 metric tons in 2022, with Scope 2 figures falling from 234.9 metric tons of CO2e in 2021 to 205.3 metric tons in 2022. However, Scope 3 figures rose from 3129.7 metric tons to 4022.5 metric tons during the same period.    

These figures still keep MSQ on track to achieve our 2030 Science Based Targets, with figures lower than industry average thanks to a number of new additional company and staff schemes implemented by the MSQ Sustainability team, such as migrating offices to renewable energy and launching green energy, green transport and personal carbon footprint reduction offers to staff.  

MSQ has now planted 173,228 trees through our tree planting partner Ecologi, has 370 employees signed up to sustainability app Giki and has almost 100 employees enrolled on staff offsetting schemes.   

James Cannings, Chief Sustainability Officer of MSQ, says: “The fact our 2022 carbon footprint is higher than 2021 is no surprise given the state of the world during the first two years of Covid, and I’m proud of the many efforts we have made to keep reducing our footprint as we aim to hit our Science Based Targets. What the report does show is the need to double-down on behavioural change in 2023 and move towards more impactful carbon removal projects. We have a great Net Zero framework of measurement tools, staff schemes and other sustainability initiatives, and it’s critical that we and all those within the advertising and marketing sectors keep them at the forefront of business operations going forward.”   

Among the commitments we’ve made in our 2023 Sustainability Report is a desire to have planted 300,000 trees as part of our Million Tree Pledge by February 2024, to refresh our staff energy schemes and roll out a series of new international plans, such as sustainable travel initiatives, to our offices in the US, China and Singapore. For the first time MSQ is also implementing formal internal KPIs focusing on sustainability issues like travel emissions, staff engagement and tree planting.  

Richard Armstrong, founder of MSQ/Sustain, says: “It’s imperative that businesses of all sizes are tracking and reporting their carbon emissions as part of their Net Zero journeys. By producing a low carbon Sustainability Report, we hope to inspire others to think innovatively about their own sustainability strategies, through our own insight and key learnings.”

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