Brand Purpose Environment Carbon Emissions

How Yahoo is offering carbon-neutral ad buys at scale


By Chris Sutcliffe, Senior reporter

January 6, 2023 | 4 min read

Yahoo is offering advertisers access to green media products through a partnership with Scope3. Here’s how it works.

A lone tree on a grassy hill

How can ad buyers be sure that green purchases are truly green? / Johann Siemens

The marketing industry is experiencing a demand for green tech solutions as pressure grows on brands to demonstrate their environmental bona fides. Catering to that demand, as of this week, Yahoo is offering advertising partners access to carbon-neutral media buys through its ad ecosystem. That process is being facilitated through the use of Scope3’s tools, which are designed to allow buyers access to carbon-neutral advertising. Married to the scale of Yahoo’s supply-side platform (SSP), that partnership should allow many more buyers to alleviate environmental concerns and reach mainstream audiences.

It comes as brands increasingly consider how marketing activity can contribute to the global climate crisis and see them on the wrong side of greenwashing accusations if they do not take steps to acknowledge and mitigate the fact while touting their green credentials.

To that end, the option to purchase ‘green media products’ (GMPs) is being integrated into private marketplaces (PMPs) across Yahoo’s ad tools. That option is available globally through any demand-side platform (DSP) connected to the Yahoo SSP, including its own DSP.

Keeping up with the times

Simon Halstead is vice president of exchanges and supply, international, at Yahoo. He argues that societal pressures are creating a demand for truly carbon-neutral processes throughout the marketing industry: “As many companies work to their own sustainability strategies and commitments, we want to help buyers on that journey. Until now, clients have only been able to compensate for CO2 emissions from their supply chains. Yahoo is taking this to the next step by actively encouraging reduced CO2 emissions through increased demand.”

Inventory bought through GMPs is measured for its carbon impact by Scope3. Following that initial measurement, the total carbon impact of the media buy is then compensated through a partnership with Carbon Direct. The client can then choose to buy those GMPs, just as they chose to purchase against publishers and audiences on the SSP.

As demand increases, there is space for further additions to the PMPs. “We will continue to add partners to our green PMP solutions over time,” Halstead said. “We will continue to look at how we can enhance our offerings in this space and refine the opportunities moving forward. We will build that in line with advertiser requirements and publisher partnerships.”

Last year, media investment firm GroupM began an audit of its own carbon creation, in line with parent company WPP’s commitment to clean up its ‘dirty media supply’. It, along with other commitments by major players within the industry, is a sign that the widespread adoption of green practices is seen as integral to the future of marketing.

The introduction of an option during the buying process – no matter the scale of the platform – can never be a silver bullet for decreasing the industry’s carbon footprint. However, with more consumers and industry practitioners calling for green solutions, the reality is that the ability to offset carbon is one that many within the industry will take advantage of.

Brand Purpose Environment Carbon Emissions

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