MRS has announced a new NetZero Pledge, committing all organisations that sign up to a net zero carbon emissions policy by 2026.  It represents a major opportunity for agencies and client-side teams to demonstrate that they are part of the solution to the growing climate emergency, and the UK’s professional body for research, insight and analytics is encouraging all of its 500 plus accredited partners to sign up.

Launched in the lead up to the United Nations’ World Environment Day (5 June), 13 organisations have already made the commitment, including research agencies Opinium, BritainThinks, IMAGINE and Ipsos MORI.  These organisations are now actively tracking their carbon emissions which will be published as part of the annual Industry Report; a process MRS is facilitating by providing a calculator to measure emissions, alongside guidance and educational materials on improving sustainability. 

Signatories must also share their own experiences and best practice with the rest of the sector, and support discussions within their organisation – as well as the wider research industry – about environmental concerns.  The benefits of the Pledge include being part of the global drive against climate change and the ability to use the MRS NetZero Pledge badge in all materials.

The Pledge has been developed by the MRS Sustainability Council, which was established in 2020 to review the key environmental issues facing research and insight.  It identified two key responsibilities for the sector, to mitigate its impact on the environment, and to help customers understand the impact of their actions on the planet – with the Pledge representing a major step forward on the first aim.

Jane Frost CBE, Chief Executive of MRS, comments: “Clients, investors and the public increasingly interrogate the environmental credentials of the companies they are dealing with.  The MRS NetZero Pledge demonstrates an obligation to more sustainable operations and sends a strong signal to those working with or for a business.  It also gives you a practical target to aim for to help achieve net zero ambitions.

“With COP26 taking place in Glasgow later this year, the eyes of the world will be on the UK.  The Pledge is a way of committing to being on the right side of history, providing an ambitious goal that the whole research sector can work towards.  The environmental crisis is the most significant long-term issue facing humanity today and I ask all CEOs involved in research and insight to sign their organisation up to the Pledge.”

Ben Page, Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI, says: “Ipsos MORI is proud to have signed up to deliver on plans to cut carbon emissions – it’s vital that we are part of the solution.  As well as researching in depth public attitudes to the massive changes that will be needed in the next twenty years, we have to push ourselves to make a difference.”

James Endersby, Chief Executive of Opinium, comments: “We’re thrilled to sign up to the MRS NetZero Pledge.  Not only will we now have a framework to steer ourselves towards net zero well before 2026, but we’re excited to continue to share our thought leadership and learnings with an increasingly engaged group of fellow agencies.” 

Adam Overell, Vice President of Logistics and Projects at Behaviorally, says: “As experts in the principles of behavioral science, we know that a public, overt commitment to a goal is often a key driver to action.  Hence, our unequivocal support for MRS’ NetZero Pledge.”

Viki Cooke, Founding Partner and Joint Chair of BritainThinks, comments: “Climate change is the existential crisis of our time and our commitment to becoming net zero reflects the team’s passion about the issue.  It is also a pledge that enlightened clients and partners will soon be demanding.” 

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