84% Of U.K. Marketers Think The Ad Industry Is Not Doing Enough To Tackle Digital Advertising’s Carbon Footprint

New study from purpose-led ad platform Good-Loop finds 71% of digital marketers currently tracking CO2 emissions; lack of sustainability training halting progress

Eighty-four percent of UK marketers think the ad industry is not doing enough to address digital advertising’s carbon footprint, according to new research released by purpose-led ad platform Good-Loop.

The new report, which looks into how Adland is tackling the environmental impact of their digital ads, found that while seven out of 10 advertisers (71%) say they are currently tracking the emissions generated by their digital ads, the vast majority felt the industry needs to do more to tackle the carbon cost of online ad campaigns.

As the digital ad ecosystem has become more complex and fragmented – fuelled primarily by the energy required to support the rise in programmatic advertising – the negative impact it has on the environment has also increased.

A typical online ad campaign emits 5.4 tons of carbon (source: Good-Loop) – almost a half of what a UK consumer generates every year, while 1M video impressions has the same carbon footprint as someone flying from Boston to London and back.

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To help understand how the ad industry is tackling the environmental impact of their digital ad campaigns – including the challenges faced and plans for future action – Good-Loop, a company that helps advertisers measure, reduce and offset the carbon footprint of their online ads, surveyed over 400 digital marketers in the U.K. and U.S.

Findings from the study “Counting Carbon: How U.K. Marketers Are Tackling Adland’s Climate Crisis” include:

  • Nine in every 10 (90%) U.K. marketers believe the digital advertising industry has a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions;
  • 71% of U.K. marketers are tracking the carbon cost of their digital advertising campaigns;
  • 84% of U.K. marketers believe the digital advertising industry needs to do more to help reduce carbon emissions;
  • 87% of agency marketers in the U.K. and 61% of U.K. brand marketers believe “sustainability is more important than the cost of media”;
  • Seven in 10 (70%) U.K. agency marketers and more than half (63%) of brand marketers believe there are not enough education/training programs on sustainable media;
  • 38% say their organisation plans to reach net zero in digital advertising at some point in the future, but only 15% say they have been set targets.

Amy Williams, CEO and founder of purpose-led ad platform Good-Loop, said: “This UK research confirms what we already knew to be true – people across our industry care deeply about tackling our carbon problem and making advertising a positive force in the world. But in order to reach ad net zero, we now need more industry-wide education and we must collaborate to develop universal sustainable standards, to guide future best practices.”

“Good-Loop’s green advertising solutions are supported by a robust, open-source methodology. Our goal is to provide a clear, transparent understanding of advertising’s digital carbon footprint to empower agencies and brands to offset their impact in the short-term and to implement positive climate action in the long-term.”

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