The award-winning £2 million Sky Zero Footprint Fund returns with the addition of a new ‘Local Heroes’ public vote

Thursday 30 March 2023

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The third year of the Sky Zero Footprint Fund welcomes an additional local ad fund; new research into the impact of sustainable advertising; and the expertise of an expanded judging panel including 2022 Grand Prix winner Serious Tissues.

  • Established by Sky Media, the Sky Zero Footprint Fund supports brands committed to driving a more sustainable future
  • The £2 million media fund is split across 5 winning brands, with a Grand Prix winner walking away with £1 million in TV advertising
  • Inclusive of this year’s initiative, the total media value gifted by Sky will be in excess of £6 million
  • The 2023 Sky Zero Footprint Fund will see the launch of an additional media value for sustainable local businesses and initiatives around the UK
  • Newly-commissioned research, to be released next month, reveals insights and the impact that sustainable messaging and creative has on consumers and brand metrics

The Sky Zero Footprint Fund returns for a third year with a new expanded format. The £2 million initiative was established to help brands accelerate their sustainable initiatives and inspire behavioural change using the power and scale of TV advertising. The campaign champions the adoption of tangible steps towards a sustainable future and is an extension of the media owner’s Sky Zero pledge to go net zero carbon by 2030.

Once again, the initiative is open to brands, media and creative agencies in the UK and Ireland - with the most imaginative and impactful idea securing £1 million of the £2 million advertising media value.

This year, will also see the introduction of an additional fund for local businesses and initiatives. The ‘Local Heroes’ Fund, with winners partially voted for by the public, will be launching in April using AdSmart from Sky to help connect worthy businesses to their local community.

So far, the Sky Zero Footprint Fund has invested £4 million in advertising support for sustainable brands, which will exceed a total of £6 million in 2023.

A panel of respected industry figures with credentials in advertising, creativity and sustainability will assess the entries, with this year’s judging panel welcoming a raft of new experts including:

  • Pippa Glucklich – Chief Executive Office at Electric Glue
  • David Garrido – Sky Sports Presenter and Sustainability Lead
  • Michelle Carvil – Marketing Consultant, Author of Sustainable Marketing and Co-Founder and Host of Can Marketing Save the Planet Podcast
  • Chris Baker – Co-Founder of Serious Tissues (and 2022 Grand Prix Sky Zero Footprint Fund winner)
  • Rosie Arnold – Creative Consultant and AMV BBDO’s former
  • Richard Shotton Behavioural Scientist and Author of The Choice Factory
  • Dino Myers-Lamptey - Founder at The Barber Shop & Co-Chair of The Conscious Advertising Network GSD Advisory Group

The judging panel will ultimately select the five winners based on their sustainable operations to date, their commitment to a carbon zero future and their product/services’ potential impact to drive positive behaviour change at scale.

The 2023 panel will also see the return of Stephen Woodford (Chair of the Advertising Association), Fiona Ball (Group Director of Bigger Picture at Sky), Lindsey Clay (CEO of Thinkbox), Jo Fenn (Global Director of AdGreen), Helen Brain (Head of Sustainability & Sustainable Communications Consultant at EssenceMediacom), Gideon Spanier (UK Editor in chief of Campaign) and Su-Mei Thompson (CEO at Media Trust).

New Research

New research, specially commissioned by Sky Media, on sustainability in advertising will also be released next month In collaboration with Savanta, the anaylsis of over 5000 Sky customers delves into the role of green messaging, its impact on behaviour and brand preference. The research highlights key creative levers which drive influence, as well as the dangers of inauthenticity and greenwashing.

The findings show that 3 in 5 Sky customers say that sustainability messaging in advertising influences their brand choice, and that by including credible and actionable sustainable messaging in a campaign has the potential to drive 5% increase in short-term effectiveness, as well as greater long-term brand preference.

Sarah Jones, Director of Planning at Sky Media, commented: While the cost-of-living crisis is taking much of our attention, we can’t afford to forget about climate change. So, for this year’s Sky Zero Footprint fund, we’d love to see ideas that can save the planet and your pocket at the same time. We’ve seen the impact our fund can have on launching more sustainable businesses on TV and the catalyst effect on the categories they are in too. With our biggest ever Footprint Fund in 2023, we are excited to see how we can help drive change at a local and national level. 

Chris Baker, 2022 Grand Prix winner and Co-Founder of Serious Tissues, said: “The Sky Zero Footprint Fund is an absolutely incredible initiative that’s making a real difference in the industry…but I’m probably a little biased! It was brilliant to see all the great brands who are making huge strides towards a more sustainable future that we were alongside last year. I’m really looking forward to being a judge this year and being inspired by more great thinking. Bravo to Sky for continuing to drive this paradigm shift in the sector.”

Applications for the £2 million Sky Zero Footprint Fund are open from the 29th of March until the 26th of May 2023.

From the entries, fifteen brands will progress to a live pitch with the judges in August. The five most impactful and creative ideas will share the £2 million pot of media value with each business being guaranteed at least £250,000 and the strongest submission securing £1 million for its campaign. The five winners will be announced in August before progressing with the TV advert production, which will need to be produced in line with guidance from the Advertising Association’s AdGreen standards.

Addressing the climate crisis requires all businesses, brands and individuals to take responsibility for lowering their carbon emissions. For 17 years, Sky’s ‘believe in better’ has seen it reduce its environmental impact. Motivated to inspire others to follow by sharing the knowledge and experience it has gained over that time, Sky launched the fund in 2021. 

For full details and to find out how to apply for the Sky Zero Footprint Fund, visit

Notes to editors 

The 2022 winners’ adverts, as well as the 2023’s qualifying conditions and offer prize confirmation can be found on the fund website.

Media contacts 


Rachel Symons / Abi Beaton / Izzy Brantingham / Caroline Shaw