Air is even more committed: “We no longer have the choice. And neither do our clients.”
Air has been dedicated to social and environmental issues for a long time, and it’s even the trademark of the oldest committed and independent Belgian agency (Amnesty International, Cap48, Bordet, International Polar Foundation and many others – that’s them). Today, the agency is already ‘zero carbon’ in terms of its own emissions but it chooses to go further, among other things by doggedly seeking B-Corp certification.
S. Buisseret and E. Hollander, the agency’s founders and leaders, are more determined than ever: “A month after the alarming yet indisputable IPCC report, 2 months before a COP26 which will necessarily increase its requirements to attempt to limit climate heating by 2030 if it’s still possible, our entire industry must move up a gear.”
“We aren't teaching people lessons. But how could we give advice to brands and organisations if we don’t apply them ourselves first?”
So what’s B-Corp?
Beyond products and services, B Corp certification measures all of a company’s social and environmental performance, in terms of governance and commercial and financial plans. It validates the sustainable nature and positive impact of all the activities, both internally and externally. More than 4,000 companies worldwide are today B Corp certified, including 21 in Belgium.
Enlightened by this effective process, we have drawn up our roadmap, involving all members of staff. And together, we have made significant progress on environmental, social and governance fronts.
Laurie Parres, Account and Impact Manager at Air: “We cannot succeed in this transformation if the whole agency is not involved. As an Account Manager, I work every day to coordinate, organise and make things possible. As an employee, I aspire to using these skills to involve the private sector more in the current social and environmental challenges. And as a young mum, I hope for a gentler life in a fairer world for Léa. This is why I accepted the job as an Impact Manager. Like all my colleagues at Air, as well as like most of my generation, I want to contribute to change and take action before it’s too late.”
As the initial concrete result of this progress, Air is today, with the help of its internal IMPACT team and its partner CO2logic, a ‘zero carbon’ company. This is based on the calculation of its emissions as an agency, their reduction and their offsetting.
Neutralising emissions relating to campaign productions
We are also aware that the impact of our activities does not stop at the agency’s doors. And although we cannot control all the stages of a communications campaign, we can however help strengthen the sustainability of the production process, for both our activities and our competitors’.
To move forward in this direction, we have developed a unique proprietary algorithm with CO2logic that enables us to calculate, reduce and offset the carbon footprint of the production process.
Applicable to all our print, film, digital and audio production activities, this algorithm now enables us to neutralise the emissions relating to our clients’ campaign productions and to offer them a ‘zero emission’ production process.
But that’s not all. Let’s look at things head on. As a key stakeholder in the communications sector, we influence consumption and therefore have our share of responsibility in the current situation.
“Yes, we have helped create the problem. But today, all those who join us – employees, clients and suppliers – want to be part of the solution.”
With clients active in many sectors, Air has a choice position to contribute to change and make its contribution to sustainability. Beyond words, with concrete actions. And not only to preserve our natural environment. It’s a question of being human. A sustainable world is a world that contributes to a better life for all, in environmental, social and economic terms.
Nathalie Erdmanis, AG Insurance, Director of Sustainability & Director of Strategic Marketing, Branding & Data Insights Analytics at AG. “With their ‘Go with the Curve’ manifesto published in the midst of the Covid crisis, Air reminded us to what extent brand communications must be sincere and empathetic today, as well as of the need to ‘walk the talk’. The brand communicates as a citizen stakeholder in society, demonstrating what it contributes to it. This has resulted in the ‘All against solitude' initiative and campaign among other things. Our latest ‘Prove Impossible Wrong’ campaigns which highlight the incredible dedication of the paralympic athletes we support, also commit us to a more inclusive world. This strategic reflection around sustainability that began thanks to AIR and which we pursue with them is fascinating but also adds meaning to the lives of everyone in the company.”
After 30 years in existence, with all our teams, we have modified our statutes. In the Moniteur Belge, we will be held account to our Board of Directors, and above all, the following is etched on our minds:
“Air doesn’t only exist to improve the bottom line and its clients’ image. We’re also committed to inspiring a more sustainable world, to being an action driver for our clients, our employees and our partners. Our desire is to stimulate change through creativity, and creativity through change.”
Ten years ago, the alarm signal...
Ten years ago, as the agency of the International Polar Foundation founded by Alain Huber, we had the fortune to take part in the inauguration of the Princess Elisabeth polar station: the first Zero Emission station built in such a hostile environment. Suddenly, at the heart of the Antarctic, the fragility of our ecosystem was glaring, and confirmed our idea that sustainable commitment should be the driver of a new approach to our business.
The acceleration of climate heating and a desire to build a better world convinced us that we should see this through. And we could be part of the solution.
Stéphane Buisseret, GSM 0475 43 14 39
Laurie Parres, GSM 0472 38 65 22