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OOH is just 3.3% of UK Advertising’s Power Consumption & under 3.5% of its Carbon Footprint - New Report

A new report from Outsmart, the trade body for the UK Out of Home (OOH) advertising industry, finds that OOH is the most sustainable advertising platform for brands when compared to other major media.

The findings, produced by KPMG, are outlined in ‘Low Carbon, Low Power: An analysis of OOH energy consumption and CO2 emissions’, published today.

KPMG’s research found that out of all the media measured (Online, TV, Radio, Print and Email), the OOH industry produces the least amount of carbon emissions per impression.

OOH represents 3.3% of the UK’s total advertising power consumption, and just 0.067% of all the power consumption in the UK. This means that OOH advertising’s power consumption is lower than its share of all advertising spend (3.8%) * (AA/WARC 2023). The findings reveal that OOH makes up less than 3.5% of the total carbon footprint of the UK’s advertising activities.

This positive report card for OOH alongside the sector’s ability to improve sustainability is in great part due to OOH media owners having control over the entire supply chain and end-to-end operations. OOH media owners alongside Clear Channel, Global, Ocean Outdoor to name a new contributed their data to the new report, with other media owners providing examples of their ability to reduce emissions across business operations.

Sustainability initiatives include maximising the recycling rate of materials, converting to more energy efficient lighting, optimising logistics routes, and most importantly, appointing suppliers based on their environmental credentials.

Tim Lumb, Director of Outsmart, said: “When we look at either the power consumption or the carbon emissions advertising “pie”, OOH is an incredibly small slice. Media owners have control over their supply chain, delivery and end of cycle processes - controls that result in demonstrable reductions to climate impact, at pace.”

Stéphanie Taupin, Global Strategy Director at KPMG, added: “The study results are consistent with a similar study we did in France: OOH allows brands to execute more environmentally friendly campaigns than other media when measured by contact or pound invested. Furthermore, OOH has opportunities to reduce its climate impact because it benefits from several reduction levers."

Another recent study from Outsmart and Legacy reported that OOH is in a strong position across several key ESG metrics, performing especially well across environmental factors. Outsmart also recently announced that the UK OOH sector contributed £411m to support public services, infrastructure, communities and employees in 2021 - representing 46% of its advertising revenue.

“Of course, sustainability efforts have no end point, but the OOH sector is committed to improving and innovating across environmental and social sustainability, as shown in the initiatives from Outsmart members”, Lumb concluded. To download the full report, click here.


At BackLite, we recognise the need for concrete action to address climate change and that every small step forward is a significant stride in the right direction.Read more about BackLite 26, our strategy to attain absolute carbon neutrality by 2026 here.


Celebrating World Water Day: BackLite's Commitment to Reducing Plastic Pollution

As the world commemorates World Water Day, as a company, we stand for environmental responsibility and actively tackle the menace of plastic pollution caused by single-use plastic water bottles. In a move towards sustainability, we partnered with Loch, a local company specialising in sustainable solutions, to change our approach to hydration.

One of the company's key initiatives is providing sustainable copper-insulated bottles from Loch to all our employees and interns. This thoughtful gesture promotes eco-friendly practices within the company and sets a powerful example for others in the industry.

Taking their commitment a step further, we extended this initiative to our esteemed clients from agencies, brands and partners during the last Ramadan season. By distributing Loch's sustainable bottles as a company, we encouraged a culture of mindful consumption among stakeholders.

In another display of our dedication to sustainability, we collaborated with Loch to gift coffee mugs to our clients. This strategic partnership promotes reusable alternatives and reinforces the belief that sustainability should be ingrained in every aspect of operations.

At BackLite, the sustainability ethos isn't just a trend; it's a core value that drives their actions year-round. By taking concrete steps to reduce plastic waste and promote eco-conscious choices, BackLite sets a shining example of how businesses can positively impact the environment while excelling in their respective industries.


The World’s To-Do List

In 2015, the world’s leaders came to an agreement to work towards 17 sustainable development goals that have the power to change the world for the better by 2030. These goals aim to fight inequality and address the issues of climate change.

Arts Help (an award-winning non-profit organisation that uses art as a vehicle for social change) connected with BackLite Media to support the World’s To-Do List. The important message was displayed on our digital billboard on Sheikh Zayed Road. The messages have also been shared by Expo2020; the World Expo currently hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The campaign’s objective is to generate passion. It aims to inspire governments, corporations, and individuals to assist in reaching the ambitious goals by the United Nation’s 2030 target date for eliminating the world’s most pressing concerns.

How One Can Help:

  • Raise awareness of the Global Goals’ purpose so that more individuals may get involved.
  • Join a group or organisation that is dedicated to achieving the UN’s objectives
  • Reduce waste and lessen your carbon footprint by reducing, reusing, and recycling
  • Purchase locally produced products that are manufactured using fair labour and environmentally friendly methods
  • Speak up against prejudice, bias, exclusion, discrimination, and inequality

Find out more here


Gulf for Good partners with BackLite Media to launch a dynamic digital advertising campaign

BackLiteMedia and Gulf for Good, a charityorganisation based in the UAE, have joined forces to launch an exciting, dynamic digital advertisingcampaign named "Champions of Change." This campaign is a celebrationof the remarkable spirit of Gulf for Good's challengers right on the vibrantSheikh Zayed Road, that showcases their inspiring stories of overcoming incrediblechallenges to support charities around the world. BackLite Media’s team of designers assisted Gulf for Good invisualising the campaign, which is displayed on two unmissable digitalbillboards along this iconic stretch. 


Thecampaign was strategically timed tocoincide with the return of Dubai residents from their summer holidays, seizingthe opportunity to display photos of participants who've signed up for Gulffor Good’s upcoming challengesacross key locations on Sheikh Zayed Road in real time. Leveraging BackLiteIntelligence's Dynamic Content Solutions, the campaign provides live updates on participants who have registered forGulf for Good's upcoming challenges with their photos displayed on BackLiteMedia’s Digital Icons. This unique concept further solidifies BackLite’sdigital advertisingplatforms, where brands can unleash their creativity and engage moreeffectively with a global audience. Participation in Gulf for Good adventurechallenges guarantees individuals a coveted spot on these renowned sights,further inspiring Dubai residents to sign up for their upcomingexpeditions. 


Katherine Kearsey,Chairwoman at Gulf for Good, expressed her excitement, saying, "As acharity that thrives on pushing limits and creating meaningful change, we areexcited to partner with Backlite Media to bring the stories of our challengersto the heart of Dubai through this billboard campaign. These billboards willinspire passers-by and remind everyone that small actions can lead tomonumental change." 


BackLiteMedia’s expertise in outdooradvertising ensures that Gulf for Good's "Champions of Change"campaign will be prominently and attractively displayed, amplifying the impactof each featured story. 


The "Champions ofChange" campaign embodies Gulf for Good's core values of empowerment,unity, and transformation. Each billboard tells a unique story, reflecting thediverse backgrounds and challenges that Gulf for Good participants have taken on to raise funds foreducation, healthcare, and welfare projects for underprivileged children. Gulffor Good invites everyone to drive by and witness the inspiring storiesof these everyday heroes, contributing to the betterment of communities andlives worldwide. Together, we can make a significant difference.


BackLite 26: Unveiling Our Initiatives and Progress in 2023 Towards a Sustainable Future

We are pleased to announce that our 2023 emission report reflects a remarkable 39% reduction in carbon footprint compared to 2022. This achievement aligns with the UAE’s commitment to sustainability as the host of COP28, where the nation is at the forefront of advancing green mobility infrastructure on a global scale.

As a leading outdoor media company in the UAE, integral to the urban landscape, we recognise the importance of steering the industry towards sustainability. Early on, we forged partnerships with esteemed green collaborators throughout our value stream, solidifying our dedication to providing brands with environmentally friendly Outdoor Advertising solutions.

James Bicknell, CEO of BackLite Media, expressed his enthusiasm about our sustainability progress, stating, “The growing importance of sustainability has been a key focus in recent years. The insights gained from COP28 hosted by the UAE and collaboration with Climate Action UK have been instrumental in enhancing our sustainability efforts. As a market leader in Out-of-Home Advertising, we endeavour to ensure that Environmental, social & governance (ESG) practices are rooted in the company’s daily operations.”

Throughout 2023, we successfully implemented some impactful initiatives:

  • Eliminating Single-Use Plastic in Offices: We initiated a significant change by eliminating all single-use plastics in our offices and replacing them with Loch Life, a locally sourced UAE brand aligned with sustainability principles.

  • Waste Management & Recycling: Our BackLite 26 initiative involves recycling vinyl used for static media on Sheikh Zayed Road. Teaming up with Ehfaaz Recycling ensures responsible material processing, and we provide brands with recycling certificates


  • Proactive Carbon Emission Reduction: Our 2023 emission report reveals a commendable ~39% decrease in carbon emissions compared to 2022. Most digital and static unipoles now rely on DEWA grid power, and we are proud to support a hydro project in Turkey.

  • Leveraging Media for Sustainability Initiatives: We collaborated with organisations like Gulf for Good and Climate Action to support their noble initiatives this year. Our dynamic content capabilities supported Gulf for Good’s fundraising campaigns, and we served as the Outdoor Media Partner for Climate Action UK’s flagship event, the Climate Action Innovation Zone 2023, to raise awareness for the islands most affected by climate change globally.

  • We are officially certified by Great Place to Work: A sustainable company must also provide an exceptional and sustainable workplace. We recently affirmed this commitment through a company-wide survey conducted by Great Place to Work Middle East. At BackLite, our people are the foundation of our success. Their unwavering dedication has transformed our company into an outstanding workplace, encompassing the governance and social aspects of our ESG strategy.

As we close the year, we acknowledge the ongoing journey toward sustainability. While recognising that there is more work to be done, our commitment to concrete and mindful steps ensures progress toward more sustainable solutions in outdoor advertising.


Sustainability in the OOH Industry: BackLite26
At BackLite, reducing our carbon footprint is of great importance to us. We understand the value of community and the impact that businesses can have on the environment and society. We strive to create sustainable and responsible advertising solutions that not only benefit our clients but also positively contribute to the communities in which our sites are located. We prioritise environmentally friendly practices and actively work to reduce our carbon footprint. We also actively support and partner with local organisations and initiatives that align with our values of sustainability in the OOH industry.

While we can’t address and fix every issue overnight, we have made it our mission to be completely carbon-neutral by 2026, our 30th anniversary. We have begun taking small but significant steps towards this goal, offsetting our carbon emissions for 2021 & 2022 (securing our Carbon Neutrality certificate and Verra-issued certificate), removing all single-use plastic from the office, and continuing the recycling of our vinyl posters. To assist in the process, in 2022, we began working with Olive Gaea to recognise further decarbonisation opportunities.

Olive Gaea is a company pioneering carbon neutrality in the MENA region. With over two decades of experience across multiple industries and the social sector, their founders have shaped their passion for scalable impacts that align with their values and contribute to a sustainable future.

At BackLite, we recognise that companies must take responsibility and work towards sustainability in the OOH industry. We continue to take the initiative to make small but influential changes to reduce our carbon footprint and strive towards a greener future. Through partnerships and conscious decision-making, we are making progress towards our 2026 goal. Our responsibility is to continue prioritising sustainability, and we hope to inspire others in the industry to do the same. Together, we can create a more sustainable future for all.
Contact us for more information on our initiatives.


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