Since the first banner ad appeared on the Internet in 1994,Digital advertising has become a multi-billion-dollar industry that plays a crucial role in the global economy.
But, like most other human activities, digital advertising has an environmental impact through its generation of carbon emissions. These come from different sources including:
- The energy required to run power-hungry data centres where servers that host websites and deliver ads are typically located.
- The energy that powers devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets where we consume the internet.
- The ‘supply path’ which is the series of networks and servers that an ad must travel through when an impression is bid for, won, and then served to a user
At Converge we are dealing with this in two ways:
- Through our Converge-Select platform where we give advertisers the tools to build their own ‘Curated Marketplaces’ using quality, high-reach and named publishers. Campaigns are then delivered through a much-reduced supply path, which means far fewer carbon emissions generated.
- By using data (provided by Scope3) to measure the carbon emissions generated by individual publishers and campaigns. This provides advertisers with the information they need to either optimise (re-plan) their activity or offset the carbon generated
But it’s also important to focus on the other ways of reducing carbon emissions that can be built into sustainable planning and buying, and these include:
- Choosing quality over quantity - that’s matching carbon efficient publisher partners with effective inventory
- Analysing all data points to identify the right balance between achieving business outcomes (e.g., a target CPA) and reducing carbon output
- Working with lighter-weight creative and use attention metrics to understand the real impact of advertising by format
As a company and industry, we are still at the beginning of the journey, but Converge will continue to lead from the front in industry efforts to make Digital advertising more sustainable.