Advertising causes up to 7% of Swiss greenhouse gas emissions

A study commissioned by Greenpeace Switzerland shows that up to 7 percent of Swiss greenhouse gas emissions (including imports) are indirectly caused by advertising. Migros and Coop place the most advertising in Switzerland.

(Graphics: Greenpeace study)

Advertising influences purchasing decisions and leads to more consumption. The research and consulting office Infras has calculated for Greenpeace Switzerland for the first time how much CO2 emissions and environmental pollution are caused by advertising-related increased consumption in Switzerland. The result: up to 7 percent of Swiss greenhouse gas emissions - including imports - are attributable to advertising. In terms of environmental impact, the figure is up to 10 percent.

Migros and Coop spend the most money on advertising. In 2021, Coop spent CHF 385 million and Migros CHF 241 million on supermarket advertising. Including subsidiaries, they are responsible for 16 percent of Switzerland's advertising-related emissions.

The study also shows that not every advertising dollar spent by Migros and Coop has the same impact on the climate and the environment. One advertising franc for animal products causes four times more greenhouse gas emissions than one advertising franc for vegan substitute products. In 2021, the Coop Group advertised animal products with about six times more money than vegan substitute products, the Migros Group with about three times more.

Greenpeace calls for advertising ban on products harmful to climate and environment

"Coop and Migros have a great influence on our consumer behavior through their advertising. Instead of just pointing the finger at us, their customers, the two retail giants must take their responsibility. In view of the study results, their disproportionately high advertising expenditures for animal products are not justifiable," says Barbara Wegmann, expert for consumption and advertising at Greenpeace Switzerland. "We demand that Migros and Coop issue comprehensive and binding advertising regulations. The goal: A stop to advertising for products that are harmful to the climate and the environment."

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