Scope3 culture

Scope3x5: Get to Know Anne Coghlan

Meet Anne Coghlan, our Co-Founder and COO. Combining extensive experience in tech with a passion for a net zero future, Anne was destined to co-found Scope3. She‘s already had a profound impact on the company’s mission and rapid growth, and it’s only just the beginning.

This series offers a glimpse into the lives of the change makers at Scope3 and what drives them to create a more sustainable ad industry. (5 minute read)

What led you to co-founding Scope3?

After years in digital advertising, a few of us (myself and other Scope3 founders) left the industry for the physical supply chain space. This involved work aimed at making large companies that buy and sell copper and aluminium more efficient and more sustainable.

In doing that type of work, we quickly realised there was a lever we could pull in digital – one that could help the world reach its temperature goals drastically faster. This led to us founding Scope3. We set out on a mission to make a big impact in an industry that we knew well.

What do you do every day?

I am the COO, which means I lead our product and services functions. I build our products, decide what direction to take them, and to make sure they’re successful, I remain highly customer focused.

I speak with existing and potential customers frequently to understand how they think about sustainable advertising. Right now, that involves a lot of education and awareness; the concept that digital emits vast quantities of carbon is still relatively new.

Part of being a co-founder, means spending a lot of time on behind-the-scenes business aspects like commercial growth and people. As a remote-working company, there are lots of different priorities, such as creating a culture and bringing life to our company values day-to-day when we’re spread out across the world. It’s an integral part of what I do.

What Scope3 achievement are you most proud of, so far?

The fact that we’ve helped create a feeling of inevitability. The work we put in combined with our support of others on a similar mission, like our friends at Green the Bid and Ad Net Zero, have changed the industry conversation in the last year and ensured sustainability is on every agenda.

In conversations, we’re seeing a greater urgency and understanding around the importance of what we’re trying to do. There’s a real feeling that the industry at large wants to collaborate and work out how to meaningfully reduce emissions and make carbon-aware decisions. This mindset wasn’t there until very recently, and I think we’ve been a huge part of driving this change.

How do you support a rapidly growing team?

We are still refining our Scope3 values but “learn and teach” is one that is pretty set – this at the core of how we interact with each other and so we make sure we hire great people who share this value.

I support my team’s growth directly by identifying gaps and growth areas and work with them to flex and grow into areas they want to develop. We also do a lot of sharing of notes and ideas to disseminate knowledge.

Regular, real-time feedback is also extremely important. We’re a new company. Being thoughtful and conscious about carving out time is where I’m able to do the most to support my team’s growth. That involves making sure that we’re available for each other, and not cancelling my one-to-ones!

Let’s hear your personal mantra. How does it influence your leadership style?

I would say my personal mantra is to be authentic and that means listening authentically too.

My leadership style is therefore very open, and I definitely bring my whole self to work. I try to listen without immediately jumping to solutions if I feel like that’s what is needed.

What have you learned from your personal life that you apply to your work?

I’ve learnt a lot about resilience from being the mum of a very energetic two-year old! Having children and co-founding a company is certainly a challenge, and one that I share with other parents in senior positions, but I think you can learn a lot from parenting that improves your work life and vice versa.

I’m also a very passionate climber, which has definitely impacted on the way I work. Climbing mountains involves taking risks and solving complex problems -- two vital skills for any co-founder.

What is the most common challenge you hear from clients?

The biggest challenge is getting started. It’s quite daunting to be confronted with a number that you know is probably not going to make you look good. Realising the amount of carbon emissions caused by your advertising activity, whether that’s directly or via someone that you’re representing can be overwhelming.

What’s important for me and my team is helping clients recognise that everyone’s on a journey, and that, while they might feel too exposed, measuring carbon emissions is the first step before they can act on their goals of reduction.

What is your favourite success story within Scope3?

One year in and we already have a few dozen customers. Customers who are joining us to reduce carbon emissions in the programmatic supply chain. And some of the largest brands in the world are now looking to us to help them measure and reduce their carbon emissions – it’s a pretty cool feeling.

What are your greatest ambitions for Scope3?

Our ambitions are tied to our mission: decarbonise the media and advertising industry. I think what’s different with Scope3 in comparison to other companies is that we have an externally set deadline - with that deadline being the heating up of the planet. Our ambition is therefore to achieve our mission of decarbonising an entire industry very quickly, because we have to.

3 Rapid Fire Qs

  • A ‘green’ company or campaign you find inspiring: I’m going to cheat and shout out this directory, which is my go-to when I am purchasing clothing
  • Favourite sustainable product or idea: Some of the tech carbon removal project ideas are amazing – Climate Robotics (part of our portfolio with Carbon Direct) use robotics and AI to sequester carbon into farmland soil
  • One lifestyle change you make to be more sustainable: I walk my son to nursery even when it’s raining (as a Londoner this is a regular occurrence)

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