Scope3 assessment reveals carbon benefits of direct ad inventory

Scope3 assessment reveals carbon benefits of direct ad inventory

An assessment by Scope3 has found direct digital ad inventory greatly reduces emissions from digital advertising when using an adtech vendor as an intermediary.

The assessment reflects particularly well on companies like Teads, which has built direct contractual and technical relationships with digital publishers and does not resell publisher inventory to other sell-side platforms.

The direct inventory approach used by Teads seeks to simplify the digital supply chain. Doing so has been found to greatly reduce carbon emissions.

Scope3 models the carbon emissions of digital advertising under three core subcategories: media distribution, creative distribution, and ad selection.

Media distribution includes emissions from publishers and the serving of editorial content, while creative distribution includes emissions from datacentres, network infrastructure and user devices.

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Ad selection includes emissions from adtech companies involved in the supply chain of programmatic processes. This latter piece has been identified as a particular sticking point for advertisers and publishers endeavouring to cut down on their carbon emissions. In a December webinar hosted by The Media Leader and The Guardian, Julie Richards, The Guardian‘s director of sustainability and operational transformation, named simplifying the digital supply chain as her priority area for emission reduction.

“If we could cut out some of the intermediaries and shorten the relationship between the advertiser and the publisher, I think that would actually cut out a lot of excess and wasted emissions,” she said.

Scope3’s latest assessment appears to confirm that sentiment.

“An initial assessment of our data revealed that buying Teads’ direct inventory might be one way carbon-conscious brands can lower the emissions of their campaigns,” said Anne Coghlan, COO and co-founder of Scope3. “Our emissions data pinpoints ad selections, which includes the full supply chain between a media buyer and a media seller, as a significant factor in the overall emissions of each ad buy.”

Coghlan added that, when analysing hundreds of domains directly integrated with Teads, Scope3 found that ad selection emissions were 99% lower than with typical programmatic buying.

Though Teads’ direct ad inventory may be more carbon efficient than other competitors, a spokesperson for publisher-backed online ads sales house Ozone stressed that the easiest way to cut emissions is to work more directly with publishers, eschewing intermediaries altogether if and where possible. The spokesperson stressed, however, that ultimately everyone in the industry is philosophically aligned on wanting to address sustainability.

Unlike Ozone, which only represents premium UK publisher brands, Teads’ clients include premium UK publisher brands and span the broader digital market.

A spokesperson for Teads said the company will further utilise Scope3 data for internal analysis to continue to improve its own performance, including by leveraging such data in its own ad solutions.

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