Incentivized Carbon Reduction
Author: Jean-Martin Provencher
Even with a growing number of brands, agencies and adtech companies making commitments to reduce carbon emissions, it will take more than relying on the virtues of every digital company to reach net-zero carbon emissions for the whole industry by 2030. In the digital advertising world, the incentives depend on what part of the supply chain a company sits on. Advertisers, for instance, will be more incentivized to purchase ads with less or net-zero carbon emissions if the performance and reach of those ads are equal to or better than their regular ads. One way to maintain performance is to ensure the price to compensate for carbon emissions is not prohibitively high. This would require the industry to standardize and enforce a sort of carbon tax that fluctuates depending on the emissions by the partner. Doing so would incentivize everyone from ad servers, DSPs, SSPs, and DMPs to publishers to reduce their carbon footprint or risk losing out on revenue from advertisers that need to bid higher to win more carbon-heavy impressions. Such standardization and enforcement sound difficult, but it is possible, and the process has stad. For instance, a trade group with backing from most major holding companies and adtech companies that has taken the lead on developing standards and helping the industry move towards net-zero emissions.