WOO President Tom Goddard calls on OOH industry to speed up initiatives on sustainability
Posted on 2024 May,07

World Out of Home Organization (WOO) President Tom Goddard has called on the US Out of Home industry to speed up its progress towards becoming more sustainable.

Speaking at the annual conference of the OAAA (Out of Home Advertising Association of America), in San Diego, Goddard described the issue of sustainability as the “elephant in the boardroom”.

“The Ad Net Zero report from last year showed that 88% of signed-up brands have set science-based carbon net zero targets whereas only 25% of media owners have followed suit. This is exposing us to accusations of greenwashing that are hard to defend currently. We’re seeing more attacks from eco protesters in Europe and elsewhere targeting the advertising sector and OOH is on the front line.

However, Goddard pointed to the many positive stories that OOH can tell, such as switching to LED illumination, reducing power consumption and full utilization of renewable energy. “But we need to get these stories out there in the public domain.”

Goddard also highlighted individual initiatives such as the widespread use of Clear Channel’s and JCDecaux’s eco-friendly bus shelters, Lamar’s use of solar energy to power boards, a BlowUP Media site that helps purify the surrounding air and a building wrap which uses a smart fabric that actively absorbs traffic pollution.

Goddard declared that the World Out of Home Organization is fully engaged in helping its members deliver against their sustainability objectives.

Goddard told the predominantly North American audience “At WOO we’ve assembled an international task force, including Judd Guthmiller from Daktronics, Adam Green from Broadsign and Jeff Jan from the OAAA, who are working to chronicle all the positive initiatives our industry is undertaking on sustainability.

“This Group is ably led by Katrin Robertson CEO of Ströer Media’s BlowUP division and comprises Media Owners, OOH Associations, Media Agencies, Software suppliers and Hardware Manufacturers. And we’re publishing all the output from this workstream on our members database, which will help and inspire members to develop their own strategy but also to help defend themselves from attack.

However, we can’t afford to be complacent. Our customers and ultimate clients are putting all media suppliers on notice that in the not too distant future, they will only select media from Ad Net Zero compliant suppliers.”