Earth Day 2024: Adtech/marketing leaders on how they’re taking action

earth-day-original image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

The impact of plastics on our increasingly fragile planet has been highlighted today, as Earth Day 2024 kicks off with the theme Planet vs. Plastics.

Worryingly, the plastics issue has become so entrenched that it now harbours potentlally life-threatening issues for the human system.

Clearly we all need to do our part to help reduce plastics in our day-to-day home and work lives, with every industry in the world needing to address the issue.

So here’s what some of our leading media and adtech thinkers have to say on the matter and how rthey’re taking action themselves…

Alex-Collmer-VidMobAlex Collmer, CEO, Vidmob

“By Earth Day 2025, we need to reach a better balance amidst this content abundance.

“Alongside harnessing the flexibility intelligent technology brings, industry players must refine the focus of their testing efforts with creative data and write more informed prompts.

“This will help curb unnecessary ad iterations and reduce waste by ensuring resources are allocated to those assets that are most likely to perform.”

“As Gen AI holds the industry hot seat, more advertisers are considering its impact on sustainability, as well as efficiency.

“Major brands have spent the past year leveraging smart tools to enable on-the-fly development — building and testing dozens of ad iterations to determine which creative direction works best.

“But while the production cost of uninformed hyper-scale experimentation is low, it’s evident that the wastage on ineffective advertising and energy consumption is coming at a high environmental price.”

Emma-Newman-CRO EMEA-PubMaticEmma Newman, CRO EMEA, PubMatic

“On Earth day, while we will rightly discuss how far the advertising industry has to go, it’s also crucial to highlight how much difference we have made by adopting responsible practices.

“At the technology level, vendors are achieving significant reductions in carbon emissions by switching to data centres using renewable energy.

“In economic terms, media buyers have started leveraging their spending power to do good — including embracing trading tools that allow them to transact against environmental goals and direct budgets towards publishers offering low-impact inventory.

“Small as they may seem, these incremental steps are essential to fuel the positive motivation that helps maintain sustainable momentum.”

Rob-Sewell-CEO-SmartFrame-Technologies-1Rob Sewell, Co-Founder & CEO, SmartFrame Technologies

“The tech industry is all about creating bigger and better solutions – but this doesn’t always take environmental impact into account.

“The quest for convenience has driven up energy use; digital technologies currently account for 2-4% of greenhouse gas emissions across Europe.

“Adopting a ‘less is more’ mindset is a crucial next step for all businesses choosing a tech solution.

“This is particularly true for the media and advertising ecosystem where simple considerations, including reducing unnecessary data storage and transfers, adopting sustainable cloud infrastructures, and prioritising quality over quantity in ad delivery, can have a considerable impact on overall emissions.”

wybe-magermans-whmiWybe Magermans, Director of Growth, WMH&I

“The role of creativity extends beyond aesthetics; it’s crucial in shaping perceptions responsibly. As brands confront the challenge of presenting genuine sustainability efforts, moving beyond superficial claims is essential.

“This Earth Day, we are reminded of our duty as creative agencies to promote transparency and honesty in communicating sustainability credentials.

“These practices are vital to steer clear of greenwashing and to build lasting consumer trust.

Dean-nagib-azerionDean Nagib, Commercial Director, UK, Azerion

“On Earth Day, it’s crucial to take note of the substantial carbon footprint created by our industry. We are increasingly aware through the news and focus from industry bodies — such as Ad Net Zero & GARM — of the environmental impact we wield, and it’s imperative that we take action to reduce emissions across our operations and supply chains.

“As consumers grow more mindful of their digital footprint, businesses must embrace sustainable practices to resonate with environmentally-conscious audiences or risk alienating them.

“Assessing carbon footprint across operations, supply chains, and media delivery is pivotal for businesses. This evaluation helps pinpoint hotspots and enables the development of short-term and long-term strategies for reduction.

“Fortunately, there’s a spectrum of solutions available for measuring both operational and campaign emissions, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of CO2 outputs and comparison against industry benchmarks.

“Businesses utilising these tools are poised to succeed in reducing carbon emissions across operations and media plans, minimising ad wastage, and aligning with industry-wide sustainability objectives.”

Sarah-whitfield-covaticSarah Whitfield, CMO, Covatic

“The technology industry has the power to transform the global environment with the invention and production of sustainable alternatives to everyday functions.

“But it also has the potential to do huge damage and deplete the Earth’s resources even further, if the companies involved aren’t committed to reducing their carbon footprint.

“In the advertising technology industry specifically, there has been a huge shift towards sustainability, largely driven by consumer expectations.

“While there is still a way to go, it is reassuring to see businesses taking steps to explore green alternatives – both independently and through initiatives like the B Corp Certification.

“Traditional programmatic technology and digital advertising ecosystems also use a significant amount of processing power, which in turn contributes to a greater carbon footprint.

“So advertisers need to look for more planet-friendly alternatives, such as on-device technology, where data is processed locally rather than in the cloud.”