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State of Readiness - Sustainability in Digital Advertising Report

Feb 02,2023
Lauren Wakefield
Sustainability HubFeaturedKnowledgeHub

Sustainability is now a key focus for the digital advertising industry. Last year, it was estimated that a typical ad campaign emitted around 5.4 tons of CO2, with a programmatic ad impression producing around one gram of Co2 emissions. When the number of ad impressions transacted on a regular basis multiplies over time, it is easy to see how this has become an imperative problem for the industry. 

In order to gain insight into how the digital advertising industry is tackling sustainability and what measures individual companies have in place, IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee developed the State of Readiness – Sustainability in Digital Advertising survey. The survey attracted 256 respondents from across the digital advertising ecosystem with the vast majority coming from Ad Tech, Agency, and Publisher businesses, as well as Advertisers. 

Key Findings:

  • 55% of respondents believe that their company has started or made significant progress on its journey towards CO2e reduction. However, 18% have not yet started or thought about it yet.
  • In terms of what those companies are doing, 50% have done or are doing a sustainability audit, 46% have a dedicated sustainability lead and 46% have created a checklist.
  • When asked what the top three challenges were for businesses, sustainability is one of the top 3 challenges, ranking just below cookieless targeting and measurement.
  • The measurement of CO2e was cited as the top action needed to drive CO2e reduction in digital advertising (35% of respondents cited it as the most important focus), closely followed by the creation of consistent standards (33%) and providing tools and solutions that can reduce the CO2 emissions produced by digital ads today (25%). 
  • 51% of respondents stated that their companies currently do not measure the emissions produced by the delivery of digital ads. 

Download the full report below

Find the supporting infographic here

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