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[Watch on Demand] Event Highlights and Session Recordings from Our Great Debate on Sustainability in Digital Advertising 2024

Apr 03,2024
Lauren Wakefield
Sustainability HubKnowledgeHubSustainability

On the 26th of March, we hosted our first Great Debate of 2024 where we saw hundreds of stakeholders from across the digital advertising ecosystem tune in as we discussed and debated sustainability in our industry. 

This virtual event brought industry experts together to discuss the state of readiness of our industry and the key work being done to achieve sustainability. Speakers explored the current tools and frameworks available to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, important regulations, the key work being done by industry associations, and the tangible actions that we need to take today to drive real change.

In this post, you will find an overview of each of the sessions as well as links to the video recordings for you to view in your own time.

Keynote Presentation: State of Readiness - Sustainability in Digital Advertising

To kick things off, IAB Europe’s Marketing & Communications Director dived into the results of IAB Europe’s latest ‘State of Readiness’ Report.

Watch the session recording here

View the presentation here

Keynote Presentation: Mapping Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Estimation Solutions in Digital Advertising

In this presentation, IAB Europe’s Data Analyst & Sustainability Manager, Dimitris Beis shared key observations from IAB Europe’s recently released Mapping of GHG Estimation Solutions in Digital Advertising

Watch the session recording here

View the presentation here

Panel Discussion: Advancing Carbon Reduction in Digital Advertising: Strategies, Metrics, and Implementation

The opening panel used the State of Readiness results and Gap Analysis findings to drive the conversation around estimation and what needs to happen next. They discussed what reduction actions can be taken, the current adoption of practices, and how the industry can align to drive action. 

The session was moderated by Erik Häggblom, CEO & Co-Founder at Tribaldata & Sustainability Working Group Lead for IAB Spain who was joined by:

  • Emanuela Recalcati, Senior Director of Creative Solution Services at GroupM Nexus EMEA
  • Gregory Jamet, Product Owner at DK
  • Anne Coghlan, COO & Co-Founder at Scope3
  • Vicky Foster, VP Global Commercial Partnerships at Adform

Key takeaways:

  • When it comes to the main barriers holding our industry back, the panel discussed a lack of education and awareness that sustainability practices can help to achieve marketing goals. A current lack of standards for GHG estimation, the nervousness of brands around greenwashing and regulation, and a need for more data sharing were also seen as barriers to progression.
  • When discussing why GHG estimation should be prioritised and its advantages, the panel shared that it gives insight into what good advertising practices should look like, that it can help to address other issues around user experience, and also help drive quality journalism. 
  • The panel also discussed how regulation was opening up the conversation around sustainability and that it is not just a tick-box exercise for clients but should be engrained in strategies overall.  

Watch the session recording here

Keynote Presentation: CSRD Guidance: What You Need to Know Today

IAB Europe’s Public Policy Manager, Inés Talavera de la Esperanza explored the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), highlighting why it is important for our industry and the key next steps that you need to know about the Directive today. Additionally, Ines shared other regulations that we need to be aware of and the key next steps we need to take to ensure progress is made on the policy side of things. 

Watch the session recording here

View the presentation here

Keynote Presentation: Industry Association 2024 Road Map with the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM)

Rob Rakowitz, Co-Founder, and Initiative Lead at GARM joined the conversation to showcase some of the concrete next steps Industry Associations are taking to support the industry, including the work they have been doing in collaboration with Ad Net Zero and with the help of IAB Europe to create a media framework for sustainability.  

Watch the session recording here

Panel Discussion: What’s Next? Driving Industry Change Through Tangible Actions

The final discussion of the day brought everything together to showcase what companies in the ecosystem are doing today to ensure sustainable digital advertising, beyond measurement, and the tangible next steps that need to be taken to drive change.

Emma Newman, CRO EMEA at PubMatic moderated this session and was joined by:

  • Anthony Crocker, Head of Commercial Success Strategy at The Telegraph
  • Estee Cheng, Managing Director, gTech Sustainability at Google
  • Yann Le Roux, VP Sales & Partnership, IMPACT+
  • Kathryn Stephens, Global Client Director, EMEA at GroupM Nexus

Key takeaways:

  • When it comes to progress in the Industry, the panel discussed the growing awareness of the need to act but that there is still a lack of concrete plans overall. They shared that progress can be seen, especially with initiatives like GARM, and that there is a lot of complex work happening in the background so we should be proud of ourselves but we still have a long way to go. 
  • When discussing other barriers, the complexity and abstract nature of the impact on the average consumer was seen as hindering progress, along with communication, education, and mindset shift but it was agreed that an alignment on estimation presents an opportunity to educate the industry and consumers to change this.
  • Examples of success, including partners supporting sustainability projects, the reallocation of marketing budgets to support sustainability initiatives, and the implementation of sustainability recommendations leading to improved ROI, were discussed. 
  • Regarding opportunities the panelists discussed using rate cards to incentivise sustainability and that we should be working in phases of informing, equipping, and celebrating.
  • The panel rounded up with each sharing a headline that they wanted to see in the next 12 months. 

Watch the session recording here

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