Audio Advertising’s Carbon Footprint: Together We Can Invest in Our Planet

Many digital advertisers assume that because they are not using paper, ink, or a printing press to deliver ads, they have more sustainable practices than traditional advertisers. But it is estimated that a single digital ad campaign delivering 1 million impressions emits the same carbon footprint as a round-trip flight from Boston to London.  

Sustainability is now a key focus for the digital advertising industry. Last year, it was estimated that a typical ad campaign emitted around 5.4 tons of Co2, with a programmatic ad impression producing around one gram of Co2 emissions. 

The digital sector's rapidly rising footprint accounted for between 2.1 and 3.9% of global emissions in 2020. Digital advertising processes are estimated to be responsible for half of the web traffic excluding video streaming traffic. The tech industry is under increasing pressure to reduce its carbon emissions. It currently accounts for almost 4% of global emissions, according to the United Nations, but as more of the world’s population goes online and digital technology permeates all aspects of life, that number could grow rapidly if left unregulated and unmonitored.  

Taking Action to Help Change our Trajectory  

To gain insight into how the digital advertising industry is tackling sustainability and what measures individual companies have in place, IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee developed the State of Readiness – Sustainability in Digital Advertising survey. The survey received 256 respondents from across 29 European markets and shares key insights on how far the digital advertising industry is progressing on its journey towards the delivery of sustainable digital advertising.  

Subsequently, IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee has worked together to establish a definition for Sustainable Digital Advertising, as outlined below. These definitions form the basis of the key work and road map that the committee is working on. 

Definition of Sustainable Digital Advertising 

Sustainable digital advertising refers to the practice of using digital marketing and advertising techniques and technologies in a way that mitigates the negative impact on the environment and society, whilst also being economically viable. 

This includes the digital supply chain, and the technologies used to deliver the ad from the agency or advertisers' system to the end user’s screen and covers the three pillars of sustainability. This does not encompass the creative production process, advertised emissions, or activities outside of this scope. 

Environmental Sustainability in Digital Advertising 

Environmental sustainability in digital advertising refers to delivering digital assets in a way that does not deplete the natural resources of our planet. This includes reducing the carbon emissions and unnecessary energy consumption associated with the delivery of digital ads and offsetting where reduction is not possible. It also includes minimizing the environmental impact of the technologies and infrastructure used in the industry. 

Social Sustainability in Digital Advertising 

Social sustainability in digital advertising refers to the impact that the industry has on people and communities. This includes, but is not limited to, employment, diversity and inclusion, data privacy and ethics, brand and browsing safety, online veracity of information, and fraud and transparency. This means that organizations consider the impact of their actions, products, and services on the wider society and not just on customers and suppliers. 

Economic Sustainability in Digital Advertising 

Economic sustainability in digital advertising refers to the ability of a company or industry to generate profits, and support itself, its employees, and its community financially over the long term. It can be impacted by factors such as the cost of delivering digital ads, the efficiency of operations, and the level of demand for digital advertising services. 

Carbon Footprint 

Net-zero emissions, or “net zero,” will be achieved when all emissions released by human activities are counterbalanced by removing carbon from the atmosphere in a process known as carbon removal. This 2023, our list of environmental threats is endless, from rising sea levels to melting icecaps and rain droughts – our world is changing quickly. There is a lot of work to do to save our precious planet. Building the right plan starts with both educating ourselves and taking accountability for our roles in contributing to these global issues.  

From the aspect of carbon footprint reduction, all companies including Triton Digital have an ethical responsibility to help contribute to solving climate change and improving our carbon footprint. 

Triton is investing in our planet and our future. 

Here are some key improvements Triton Digital has already made as part of our sustainable practices: 

  • Most of our computing power is using renewable energy sources, therefore, our Infrastructure carbon footprint is already at a good place. ~ 650 MtCO2e. 
  • Most of our Infrastructure Partners have either sustainable energy or a carbon footprint reduction plan in place, and they are on track to achieve their goals by 2025 or 2030.  

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is designed to be evergreen—a comprehensive roadmap that reflects levels of ambition to guide emissions reduction efforts in each sector. As governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities across the country work together to reach these targets, we will identify and respond to new opportunities. 

We continue to make appropriate changes to reduce our carbon production.  

Here is a look at some key projects we are undertaking: 

  • We are eliminating all our old servers which use more power. 
  • Our second largest area of carbon production is business / air travel. ~ 475 MtCO2e. Although this has been reduced in the past few years due to the pandemic, we plan to continue to reduce travel requirements for all employees.  

Our goal remains to set a target date to be carbon neutral. However, we are still at the point of studying what best practices we should incorporate as individual employees and as an entire company. Triton is following recommendations made by Ad Net Zero the advertising industry’s drive to reduce the carbon impact of developing, producing and running advertising to real net zero. 

 This year's Earth Day theme is designed to persuade businesses, governments, and citizens around the world on the need to invest in our planet as a way of improving our environment and giving our descendants a better and safer future. With this goal in mind Triton Digital will continue to innovate and improve its carbon footprint and build a better world for future generations.  

Happy Earth Day!  

 Audio Advertising’s Carbon Footprint: Together We Can Invest in Our Planet

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