Advertising Digital Publishing
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Five companies advancing media and advertising sustainability

130 governments worldwide have agreed to meet Net Zero emissions targets by 2050, as well as employ a Net Zero Workforce. A lofty target by any measure as Net Zero includes all greenhouse gases, not just carbon dioxide. The IPCC has also stated that global emissions must be halved by 2030 (Paris Agreement) as a prelude to becoming Net Zero by 2050. Here are five vendor companies advancing the cause within the media industry.

A key theme of our recent publisher tour of London, as well as our visits to Cannes LIONS and Lisbon’s Web Summit, was the need for publishers to become far more aware of their environmental impact and carbon footprint.

This is being pushed forward by advertiser brands who, as part of their own net-zero initiatives, are demanding to know the environmental footprint of their media partners. One major UK publisher told us that some brands had approached them directly to know the sustainability initiatives that the publisher had put in place before buying any media.

Whilst we see this as a significant trend, the supplier solutions aren’t cut and dried. One magazine publisher told us they had reverted back to using plastic shrinkwrap because the compostable shrinkwrap they had been using was causing havoc with local authorities’ refuse collection machines. Other solutions, for example, Ukraine’s Releaf (which makes paper from collected fallen leaves) are still in the development phase.

However, as world leaders gather in Sharm El Sheikh for COP27, there are a number of companies publishers should have on their radar as part of their sustainability initiatives:

  • SeenThis

SeenThis is focused on creating a high-speed and energy-efficient Internet. This year it partnered with the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) to enable the association to become the first trade body to stream images on its website and cut its internet carbon emissions – with the aim of encouraging digital publishers to explore and adopt similar solutions. 

Initial results have seen AOP reduce its data usage by 65% – exceeding original predictions – and improve its website image load time by between 65-85%, resulting in a better user experience.

Feedback from our members and research from SeenThis brought greater attention to the need for common industry standards for carbon calculations. The results speak for themselves and we hope this not only encourages other digital publishers to explore similar solutions, but also initiates important conversations in the wider industry.

Richard Reeves, Managing Director, AOP

N.B. The AOP has now created a dedicated Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) steering group where members can share best practice and discuss industry solutions in more detail. 

  • Scope3

Scope3´s mission is to decarbonize media and advertising by being, in their own words, ‘the source of truth’ for emissions measurement in every segment of the industry. The company enables the industry-wide usage of Green Media Products (GMPs), or carbon-neutral media, by measuring emissions and managing the purchase of high-quality carbon removal contributions.

Brands, agencies, publishers and tech providers use Scope3 to better understand their carbon footprint, and make informed decisions to actively reduce and compensate for their emissions. 

The rapid explosion of the programmatic ecosystem was driven by ideas that didn’t factor in environmental impacts. Scope3 was started to build a model that predicts and understands the emissions of every single part of the digital advertising supply chain. 

  • The GoodNet

The GoodNet is a digital ad network that reaches a scaled audience of ethical consumers whose purchase decisions are influenced by care for both people and planet. Their network of over 200 digital publishers aligns with one or more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as well as educates and inspires people to live more sustainably. The network delivers, in their own words, ‘good outcomes’ for brands through ad campaigns that are both carbon neutral and support sustainability media.

As an industry we must think broadly and holistically about sustainability. Offsetting the carbon emissions of a campaign, while important, isn’t enough. The real prize is in media’s unique ability to influence consumer behaviour at a mass scale.

The GoodNet
  • Good-Loop

Good-Loop is a purpose-powered ad platform on a mission to make advertising better for consumers, brands and the planet. The B Corps-certified company’s ad formats motivate people to watch an entire ad online by allowing them to ‘unlock’ a free charitable donation at the end of each spot, resulting in an average ad recall 4.5X higher than the industry standard.

Good-Loop also has a suite of solutions to help advertisers measure and reduce the carbon cost of their digital ad campaigns, including a free Carbon Calculator and its Green Ad Tag, which enables brands to track their CO2 emissions through a customized dashboard.

A typical online ad campaign emits 5.4 tons of carbon – almost a half of what a U.K. consumer generates every year. Our goal is to provide a clear, transparent understanding of advertising’s digital carbon footprint, giving agencies and brands the tools to measure and reduce the environmental impact of their online ads.

  • Viously

Video consumption accounts for 1% of total carbon emissions worldwide. Viously, a next-gen publisher video solution, addresses this by working with publishers not just in terms of performance and ad revenue, but also the video’s environmental footprint.

It does this by helping publishers to optimize their sites to be faster and more efficient, as well as ensuring all video content is hosted on green servers with one objective: carbon neutrality.

Running our own proprietary technology means that we can optimise a video player so that it plays the right video to that user’s device, location, browser and bandwidth, thus reducing energy consumption by 30%.


Amongst a number of initiatives, the heat generated from Viously’s datacentres are sent to generate heat for a business park in the North of France. Other energy outputs are offset through well-managed reforestation projects as well as contributions to initiatives such as Ad For Good.