News | How Brands Can Embrace Sustainability in Their Advertising for a More Responsible Future
The digital advertising industry stands at a pivotal moment where it must confront its environmental impact and take collective responsibility for creating a more responsible future, writes Rachel Scheel.
Sustainability is more than a buzzword. It is a collective responsibility that businesses must harness to secure a more responsible future. In a rapidly evolving digital advertising landscape, each online ad served means that data is being transmitted, and servers are utilized, contributing to the industry’s overall carbon footprint.
A study conducted by fifty-five revealed that digital activities account for 3.5% of the world’s greenhouse gases annually. With the Digital Advertising market worldwide projected to grow by 7.57% (2023-2027), the emissions produced are only expected to increase. Fifty-five warns that without collaborative mitigation efforts, greenhouse gas emissions from the industry are projected to double by 2040.
The digital advertising industry faces unique challenges in adopting sustainable practices including complexity and a lack of awareness, resources, and universally accepted standards. However, the journey to sustainability does not have to be a daunting one and companies can start with these three tips.
Harnessing AI to optimize ad delivery
Efficient ad delivery is essential for minimizing wasted impressions and reducing energy consumption. Leveraging commerce signal analytics and machine learning technologies, businesses can ensure that ads reach the right audience at the right time.
By optimizing resources, companies can decrease their environmental impact while maximizing the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. According to Criteo’s Shopper Story 2022, the majority of shoppers in Singapore across all generations confirm they buy products recommended in ads (79% Gen Z & Millennials, 66% Gen X, 63% Boomers & Silent).
“To pave the way for a more responsible future in digital advertising, companies must conduct comprehensive environmental impact assessments. These assessments help identify areas of high energy consumption, carbon emissions, and waste generation within digital advertising operations.”
Marketers can leverage solutions that empower them with the ability to tailor ads in real-time based on shopper intent signals, such as products viewed, and sites visited. This allows businesses to maximize relevant shopper reach and deliver meaningful advertising experiences while optimizing their environmental footprint.
Making data centers greener
While the transition to renewable energy sources may seem daunting, it is essential for achieving long-term sustainability.
Companies can begin the process of reducing the environmental impact of data centers by optimizing their hardware infrastructure. This involves upgrading to energy-efficient servers and networking equipment, which can significantly lower power consumption.
Given the high energy consumption of data centers, companies should prioritize the use of renewable energy sources. They can achieve this by investing in solar panels, wind turbines, or purchasing renewable energy credits.
Efficient cooling mechanisms are essential for data centers to maintain optimal operating temperatures for servers. By implementing advanced cooling techniques such as hot-aisle and cold-aisle containment, efficient airflow management, and liquid cooling systems, energy consumption can be drastically reduced, and cooling efficiency can be enhanced.
Setting sustainable goals
To pave the way for a more responsible future in digital advertising, companies must conduct comprehensive environmental impact assessments. These assessments help identify areas of high energy consumption, carbon emissions, and waste generation within digital advertising operations. Armed with this information, businesses can establish a baseline for sustainability goals and target areas for improvement.
Establishing specific and measurable sustainability goals is the next critical step towards environmental responsibility. Companies should define targets related to carbon emissions reduction, energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy usage, waste reduction, and other relevant metrics. These clear goals provide direction, enabling businesses to monitor progress effectively and adjust strategies accordingly. At Criteo, we have embraced science-based target initiatives, which set out clear and ambitious goals aligned with our environmental responsibility.
Navigating towards a greener tomorrow
The digital advertising industry stands at a pivotal moment where it must confront its environmental impact and take collective responsibility for creating a more responsible future. Embracing the three key practices above will not only help businesses align with consumer demands for environmental responsibility but also contribute to a collective effort in securing a more sustainable future for the planet. The digital advertising industry must recognize its role in climate change and take proactive steps to address its environmental impact.
Besides, consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and tend to favor businesses that demonstrate sustainable practices. Not only is it an ethical and responsible thing to do, but sustainable advertising can also help build a positive brand image, leading to increased consumer trust and loyalty.