Good-Loop Sustainable Transformation Media Planning and Buying

Over half of marketers will pay more for digital ads with a lower carbon footprint


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

October 4, 2022 | 3 min read

61% of brand marketers think sustainability is ‘more important’ than the cost of an ad buy, according to a survey from ethical adtech firm Good-Loop.

sustainable media

Sustainable media is an increasing priority for marketers

A spotlight has been on the environmental impact of advertising for some time. Research from Cavai estimates that the average online ad impression emits the same amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere as driving an electric car between 0.4 to 9.65m, watching a 40-inch 4K OLED TV between 1.5 to 35 seconds, or having a LED light bulb on between 30 and 700 seconds.

Good-Loop has since found that the typical online ad campaign emits 5.4 tons of carbon – 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, according to Scope3.

Media agencies haven’t been slow in offering marketers solutions to these stats. All of the major holding companies now have some kind of environmentally-friendly media buying division.

Yet, marketers are calling for more solutions.

Good-Loop surveyed over 400 digital advertising execs, finding virtually all (90%) now believe the digital advertising industry has a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions.

Though a minority (38%) said their organization has wider plans in place to reach net zero in digital advertising (only 15% say they have been set targets, however), a majority (71%) of advertisers said they are currently tracking the emissions generated by their digital ads.

And most are willing to pay more for that sustainability, with 61% of brand marketers saying it’s more important than the “cost of media.”

But the industry still needs to do more to tackle the carbon cost of online ad campaigns, with 84% believing the digital advertising industry needs to do more to help reduce carbon emissions.

“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,” said Amy Williams, chief executive and founder of Good-Loop.

“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 Sustainable Transformation Media Planning and Buying

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