Brands and agencies have started asking publishers about the carbon emissions created by ads themselves, as well as their digital ad campaigns as a whole, according to a new article from Digiday. 

This growing interest is putting pressure on publishers to begin properly measuring their carbon emissions and to decrease their carbon footprints as a whole. Indeed, some publishers and agencies have started practising supply-path optimisation – spending fewer ad dollars on high-carbon emitting supply paths – while reducing the number of sell-side platforms and demand-side platforms that publishers and media buyers transact in. 

Although carbon emissions are not necessarily the only, or even the most important, decision-making tool used by advertisers as yet, several industry experts say that the most environmentally friendly option often also makes the most financial sense. 

Additionally, brand lift studies have shown that lower-carbon producing ad slots are more likely to perform well, which incentivises publishers to rethink their offerings. 

Some agencies have gone so far recently as to include carbon emissions data as a required metric in RFPs to publishers, however, others are hesitant mandate this for fear that it will be seen as too strict by the publishers and discourage an otherwise willingness to improve. 

At this stage, agencies and advertisers have a significant opportunity to spearhead changes in the digital advertiser ecosystem, starting with being more selective about the type of ads they’re putting their clients’ money behind.