AdFixus targeting Scope 3 emissions

January 19, 2024

Programmatic Marketing and Scope 3 Emissions: Cutting Carbon and Costs

In the realm of sustainability and environmental responsibility, the concept of carbon emissions has taken centre stage. Businesses are increasingly recognising the importance of minimising their carbon footprint to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. One crucial aspect of this effort is understanding and addressing Scope 3 emissions – a term that holds particular significance in the digital marketing landscape.

Understanding Scope 3 Emissions: Beyond the Direct Impact

The domain of carbon emissions is divided into three scopes, each representing different sources of emissions.  

Scope 1 emissions encompass direct emissions produced by a company's operations, such as the emissions from manufacturing facilities or company vehicles.  

Scope 2 emissions refer to indirect emissions generated from the energy consumption required for a company's activities. These two scopes are relatively straightforward to grasp, as they are closely linked to a company's internal operations and energy usage.  

However, it's Scope 3 emissions that offer a unique perspective.

Scope 3 emissions extend beyond a company's immediate operations and delve into the broader impacts of its activities. These emissions encompass indirect emissions resulting from sources outside the company's control – namely, the emissions from its customers and suppliers. For example, when a consumer uses a product, the associated emissions contribute to the product's Scope 3 emissions. Similarly, the emissions produced by suppliers along the supply chain contribute to a company's Scope 3 emissions. These emissions can be substantial, often surpassing the emissions from Scopes 1 and 2 combined.

Programmatic Marketing and Its Carbon Footprint

Enter the world of digital marketing, where the intersection of technology and communication shapes the modern advertising landscape. Programmatic marketing, an approach to delivering targeted ads through automated systems, has revolutionised the industry. However, as the digital marketing ecosystem expands, so do its carbon emissions, particularly within the realm of Scope 3.

Brian O'Kelley, CEO of Scope3, has emerged as a prominent advocate for addressing carbon emissions in the digital advertising sector. O'Kelley highlights the pivotal role that programmatic marketing plays in contributing to Scope 3 emissions. The intricacies of programmatic supply chains, coupled with wasteful practices and misleading metrics, lead to a high carbon footprint. O'Kelley underscores the significance of the role marketers play in driving change and reducing these emissions.

In the 2022 research by investment analysis group Ebiquity and emissions measurement firm Scope3. They found:

  • Carbon emissions of websites varies dramatically with CO2PM per website ranging from 55.2g to 4,782.8g, an 87X difference. This confirms a major opportunity for brands to prioritise media partners with optimized emissions.
  • The global weighted average of digital ad emissions is 670g CO2PM based on 116bn ad impressions. According to Scope3 data of 77,826 MtCO2e, this is the equivalent of flying 1.35 million passengers from London to Paris – it would take 3.7 million fully-grown trees one year to absorb this amount of carbon.

And MediaMath in a blog post suggested that in total, digital advertising activities generate approximately 3.5% of global greenhouse gasses every year.  

Marketers: Champions of Sustainability

Marketers wield substantial influence in the pursuit of a more sustainable digital advertising landscape. O'Kelley's message is clear – it's time for marketers to spearhead the transformation. Marketers are urged to prioritise attention over mere viewability, eliminating ads that don't receive adequate attention and opting for quality over quantity. By demanding transparency from ad tech companies and supporting publishers committed to quality content, marketers can instigate a meaningful shift toward sustainability.

Marketers are positioned at the forefront of this initiative, with the power to drive change both on the publisher and ad tech sides. O'Kelley's call to action resonates: marketers must take the lead in optimising supply chains, demanding transparency, and promoting sustainable practices within the industry. By embracing these changes, marketers can not only reduce carbon emissions but also enhance the efficiency and impact of their campaigns.

Empowering Change: AdFixus's Impact

Amidst this drive for sustainability and efficiency, a ground-breaking solution has emerged – the AdFixus Platform. This innovative platform empowers marketers to reduce Scope 3 emissions while simultaneously safeguarding consumer privacy and enhancing relevance. Marko Markovic, CEO of AdFixus, aptly captures the essence of this technology: "By building a stronger bond between individuals, advertisers, and publishers, we are able to significantly increase the energy efficiency of digital marketing, all while protecting privacy and increasing relevance and conversion. The technology is here today; we can make a difference."

AdFixus' approach involves anonymous first-party cookie deployment across a company's domains, enabling effective matching with leading publishers and real-time updates to segmentation. This streamlined process eliminates the need for a larger digital marketing ecosystem, effectively eradicating fraudulent and inefficient practices often associated with programmatic marketing, and thus Scope 3 emissions.  

A report by research by investment analysis group Ebiquity and emissions measurement firm Scope3 in 2022 found that 15.3% of advertising spend is wasted on inventory that generates no value while generating excessive amounts of CO2 emissions.

It’s clear that marketers leveraging AdFixus can optimise their campaigns for better performance, driving improved efficiency, and significantly lowering their carbon footprint.

Shaping the Future: Marketers as Catalysts of Change

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, a powerful opportunity arises – an opportunity for marketers to lead the charge in cutting wasteful practices and driving an eco-friendlier approach. O'Kelley's vision, coupled with the transformative potential of AdFixus, underscores the pivotal role that marketers play in shaping the industry's transformation. By aligning profit and purpose, marketers can reshape the digital advertising landscape, creating a more sustainable future.

The journey toward reducing Scope 3 emissions is not only a matter of environmental responsibility but also a strategic move that can yield significant benefits. As marketers champion sustainability and embrace innovative solutions like AdFixus, they pave the way for a more efficient, impactful, and environmentally conscious advertising ecosystem. The digital revolution and sustainability can indeed coexist – and marketers hold the power to make it a reality.


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