Ogilvy has announced that it will be rolling out a service pioneered in Australia that advises business on how to go green.

The new Ogilvy Earth offices will appear in Asia, the United States and Britain, with its expansion plan coming at a time when most ad companies are cutting back – though the agency maintains that budgets for sustainability and environmentally friendly products and services are holding up.

“They have realised that there is no turning back now, people are holding their commitments to sustainability in the downturn,” said Ian Higgins, chairman of the advisory panel to Ogilvy Earth.

A former Greenpeace and WWF executive, Higgins cited a growing market US data that showed four in five people said they were still buying green products and services and a 79 percent increase in the number of green products in stores between 2007 and January 2009.

The Australia arm has since advised Woolworths, Telstra, Qantas and Origin Energy on going green.

According to Stephen Hale, Ogilvy Earth’s joint managing director, many companies are still scared of talking about what they are doing.

“They are very anxious about making any statements as they think they are going to get shot down for it,” said Hale.