Interactive Advertising Bureau
19 September 2023

Guest Member Blog Post with IMPACT+ - How to Reduce the Carbon Impact of Your Digital Advertising


According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the last 8 years have been the hottest on record. The signs are clear: global warming is well and truly here.

Since the 1980s, each decade has seen global temperatures higher than the last due to record levels of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) trapping heat in the atmosphere.

While that’s probably not news to you, the impact that digital technologies are having on climate change might be.

Despite the illusion that digital technologies are ‘clean’, their environmental impact is in fact massive.

Take digital advertising as a case in point: Since the early 2000s the space has experienced quasi-exponential growth. With spending on digital ads having risen from $10B to $378B in the last 20 years, according to eMarketer, it’s now the largest advertising medium in terms of investment globally.

The sheer growth of the digital advertising industry has had a clear and measurable impact on climate change.

Ready to Take Action?

So what’s the answer?

At IMPACT+ we believe digital advertising can be more sustainable.

And we’ve recently published a new whitepaper that provides everything you need to get started making your digital ads campaigns more sustainable.

The whitepaper sheds greater light on the true carbon footprint of the digital advertising industry and provides actionable solutions to reduce it.

Read through the five takeaways below, and download the in-depth white paper for more.

5 key Takeaways to Help Reduce the Carbon Impact of Digital Advertising 

  1. The digital advertising industry needs to adopt the right environmental performance indicators. Our white paper discusses the need for the industry to adopt a consistent measurement approach centered around two types of indicators:
    1. The total volume of carbon emissions - making it possible to manage the reduction in absolute value over time.
    2. A unit value - making it possible to compare campaigns, activations, actors or contexts with each other, independent of the volume of advertising.
  2. Advertisers must better ‘eco-design’ their creatives and websites. The white paper discusses the fact that, in the case of digital advertising, the work of the creative teams who produce the graphic elements and the click-through website is key.
  3. Advertisers should consider their ad-tech stack with the environment in mind. The more technology involved in ad serving, the more resources used and the more carbon emitted. Our white paper discusses considerations around building media plans and the need to limit waste when buying or selling programmatically.
  4. Reducing energy loss due to advertising waste is low hanging fruit that could make a big difference. An ad that does not reach its target creates a dead energy loss and therefore unnecessary carbon emissions. The white paper details how to raise the quality standards of advertising distribution by optimising the viewability of advertisements and thus lower the rate of energy-sapping, wasted impressions.
  5. There are easily implementable steps to measuring the impact of your advertising actions against counterproductive effects. Our white paper details how an effective action in one context is not necessarily effective in another. The same action can have a positive or negative impact depending on the nature and parameters of the campaign, and this is an important consideration when it comes to driving sustainability in digital advertising.

Download the Whitepaper

Don't miss out on these invaluable and actionable insights.

Click here to download our white paper and join the movement towards more sustainable digital advertising practices.

Plus join us on 28th September at 12:00 CET for IAB Europe's 'Digital Innovation: Start-Up Spotlight Webinar' where we will dive into the whitepaper and this topic in more detail. Find out more and register here.

More About IMPACT+

IMPACT+ award-winning sustaintech solution (trusted by leading global brands including L’Oréal, Heineken, AXA, BMW and Danone) enables digital advertising players to evaluate and reduce their environmental impact without sacrificing performance.

In essence, IMPACT+ builds new performance indicators and tools to help the digital advertising ecosystem use greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and electricity consumption to inform their digital advertising strategy.

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