The programmatic advertising industry generates more than 200,000 metric tonnes of CO2 every month in the US, the UK, Australia, Germany and France.
This, according to a report from environmental impact tracking firm Scope3, is equivalent to the emissions from 24 million gallons of petrol being consumed.
What’s more, if the industry was to eliminate spending across the highest emitting domains, it could 33,500 tonnes of carbon could be saved every month. Plus, the majority of carbon generated by programmatic advertising comes from ‘ad selection emissions’ and can be attributed to the notoriously complex supply chain.
“This report is a crucial moment for the industry to pause and consider how we come together to tackle the climate emergency,” said Anne Coghlan, co-founder and COO at Scope3.
“We are striving for a more effective advertising industry with the least impact on the environment, something that can only be achieved by industry collaboration, using the right data and taking action now. For the first time, we know where to take action to deliver the most immediate impact.”
The report also found that serving 1,000 digital impression uses the same amount of energy as washing a load of laundry.
“By changing the way we configure the trillions of auctions that match advertisers with ad placements, we can dramatically reduce the energy consumption of the process,” added Brian O’Kelley, Scope3’s other co-founder and CEO.
“And, in doing so, we improve transparency, reduce privacy risk, and increase the proportion of spend in working media, without adverse revenue impact for publishers and no adverse performance or reach impact for buyers.”
Earlier this year, Yahoo and Scope3 partnered to create a carbon-neutral private ad marketplace within its supply-side platform to help brands buy online inventory sustainably.
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