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Putting sustainability at the heart of your business – not just box-ticking

Feb 23, 2024

Here at ITG we offer end-to-end marketing services spanning multiple fields of expertise while also keeping an eye out for innovative marketing technology. But a practice that we think helps us stand out the most is sustainability – delivering amazing campaigns while being socially and environmentally conscious.

In 2023 we focused on ‘People and Planet’, taking major strides to reduce environmental impact and increase our social consciousness – and by doing so we earned ourselves the CSR Excellence Award for Best Sustainable Technology-Led Marketing Agency in Europe. So, how did we do this?

Sustainability

Our innovative approach to sustainability can be seen in every area of our business – one of our favourites being our state-of-the-art Virtual Production technology at Capture Studios. This is a sustainable alternative to traditional film and photography shoots, reducing travel emissions by creating ultra-realistic CG environments and shooting them in just one location.

Head of Health, Safety, Sustainability & Facilities, Carl Brooks, expands on our sustainable practices:

“We’ve helped numerous brands reduce waste from print POS by putting new ways of working in place, such as enabling individual stores or locations to order exactly what they need through our marketing technology, rather than relying on estimates from the central marketing team.”

Our proactive approach to sustainability is exemplified by our ISO 14001, 50001, SA8000 certifications, and our EcoVadis Gold rating that has been getting higher and higher over recent years, with our most recent score getting an ‘outstanding’ in the Environmental work category. And as of Q3 2023, all our UK-based sites are running on 100% renewable electricity.

Another impressive sustainability project we’re particularly proud of is the ITG Impact Forest, which has seen over one million trees planted in Africa to restore natural landscapes and enhance biodiversity in areas negatively impacted by climate change – and it’s estimated that it will offset approximately 475k tonnes of CO2 when matured.

DEI & Culture

Our dedication to diversity, ethics and inclusion is driven by our established network of Diversity Champions (part of our wider, Great British Workplace Wellbeing Award-winning Wellbeing programme). They work to give a platform to all groups we represent across the Inspired Thinking Group, with Carl saying:

“We prioritise diverse perspectives and actively seek input from all our team members to give everyone a real sense of belonging and contribution.”

We also heavily encourage community engagement and philanthropy, with core initiatives like one day of paid leave each year for employees to volunteer for a cause close to their hearts, alongside the company charity donation matching scheme.

On top of the volunteering days, we also offer an annual paid Wellbeing Day for each employee to take whenever (and however) suits them. It could be a day at a spa to unwind, or just a day to spend in their pyjamas catching up on the latest boxset – whatever works for their mental health.

We also provide constant access available to a host of online Wellbeing resources, ranging from seminars to vital mental health contact links using our dedicated online portal. All employees can take online courses to gain new skills or to get a refresh on existing ones, and it also hosts our mandatory CSR training to make sure ITGers align with our company Values.

Our flexible home and office work policies also contribute to a feeling of validation and help to reduce the chance of burnout. We strongly believe a happy, well-rested team is more likely to deliver the outstanding creative work that sets ITG apart.

The strongest advocate for our culture is Group CEO Simon Ward:

“Creating the culture that we enjoy at ITG doesn’t happen overnight – it’s been a conscious effort ever since the business was formed in 2009, and it needs outstanding people at every level to bring it all together.”

Not just box-ticking

Because of how successful our CSR initiatives were in 2023, it would be easy to rest on our laurels, but for 2024 we aim to keep expanding our commitments. That’s everything from implementing further carbon reduction measures to releasing our first full sustainability report and improving our EcoVadis rating – achieving the Platinum status that we narrowly missed out on last year.

For 2024 we want our ESG efforts to be on a worldwide scale, expanding to the other territories that ITG operate in (Europe, America, and Asia-Pacific) to get closer to our goal of being globally recognised as a leading sustainable marketing agency.

Our approach to ESG is anything but trivial, as Carl explains:

“We aim to avoid jumping on trends as a box-ticking exercise, and instead set our own agenda.”

CSR is something that informs our decisions and actions on a daily basis – and if you want to know more about what we do, click here!

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