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A Sustainable Lens on Supply Chain Optimization (SPO)

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)

These three words are top of mind for brands, publishers, and consumers. Yet, the exponential growth of programmatic ad spend has challenged our sensibilities when it comes to responsible media practices and programmatic’s carbon footprint. The data centers that run the backbone of programmatic adtech accounted for almost 1.5% of global energy consumption in 2022, resulting in a little more than half a percent of global greenhouse emissions. Clearly, adtech’s conventional “growth-at-all-costs” approach is unsustainable. It’s also at odds with the 83% of consumers that think companies should be actively shaping ESG best practices.

Marketers who embrace this ethos and seek out sustainable partners will thrive in the long run. Yet, the process of building a sustainable programmatic supply chain is uncharted territory for most. Nine out of ten marketers surveyed in the US agree that our industry has a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions, but only 24% have set targets for achieving net zero.

What’s holding them back? According to recent research from purpose-driven performance platform, Good-Loop, lack of information is the culprit. An August 2022 survey of brand and agency marketers reveals that more than half of respondents in each category struggle to find training that will educate them on best practices for sustainable digital advertising. Perhaps as a consequence, one in ten respondents shared that they don’t believe it is possible to achieve net zero within their organization. 16% don’t even believe it is a priority.

At TRUSTX, we’re committed to doing our part to help the US reach its goal of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas pollution by 2030; what’s more, we believe it is possible for the programmatic industry to reach this milestone. We’ve learned that the fundamental first steps to carbon neutral programmatic lie in two core principles:

●      A fierce focus on supply-path optimization (SPO); and

●      An uncompromising commitment to ad inventory that produces results.

These seemingly obvious ESG principles may have been a little easier to discover for a digital media marketplace purpose-built from the ground up to eliminate waste. However, we believe the leap beyond the more common programmatic status quo isn’t nearly as hard as it seems, especially with a little motivation from advertisers and publishers who want to prioritize our planet and profits with equal weighting. Speaking up is where this all begins.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing a series of posts devoted to understanding and operationalizing a sustainable approach to programmatic advertising. Sign up for email updates from TRUSTX to get notified when we publish a new installment!

Interested in learning more about sustainable advertising from TRUSTX? Let’s talk!

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