The global climate crisis demands immediate attention and action from all sectors, including the advertising industry. With a collective responsibility to decarbonise in every way we can, advertisers are in a rather unique position. Lowering our impact on the environment doesn’t just bring us closer to reaching important climate goals, it simultaneously addresses a fundamental goal of marketers: delivering effective and impactful ads.

From fraudulent or non-viewable ads to MFA and everything in between, a waste problem has plagued digital marketers for the better part of the last decade, and the solution to that could lie in leveraging low carbon sites for ad placement. 

These sites are not only environmentally friendly but also tend to garner higher consumer attention. They typically offer better content, which in turn leads to more effective ads.

Low carbon sites reward consumers as they have less ad tech and therefore give the consumer a better user experience this then creates a positive cycle that benefits both the environment and the Brand. The ads served on these sites are typically placed in a non-cluttered environment, which enhances the user experience. Consumers are more likely to pay attention to an ad when it's not lost in a sea of other ads.

Shifting spend to lower carbon inventory presents a win-win scenario: it helps fight climate change whilst offering a more customer-friendly experience.

The benefits are not just hypothetical, there’s data to support it. Research using advertising emissions data from Scope3 shows a strong correlation between high-attention and low-carbon inventory, with the overlap of those two metrics often yielding better marketer outcomes.

However, to fully harness the benefits of low carbon sites, it's important to spend time analysing and optimising campaigns. Measurement is everything. If you aren’t measuring then there it's impossible to determine  both the effectiveness of the ad and its environmental impact or the power of harnessing these two signals together.

An effective strategy is to reduce the number of ad tech partners used across all channels and publishers. While adding more ad tech can be useful at times, each partner contributes more digital ad emissions to the supply chain. By minimising its use, and cutting out unnecessary hops in the chain we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint.

Another strategy is to shift focus away from viewability to attention. While viewability seems to matter, it doesn't necessarily translate to effective advertising. Attention metrics, on the other hand, provide a more accurate measure of if an ad was effective. Do you want to know if the ad actually been seen, or simply whether or not it had the opportunity to be viewed?

If marketers start to consider the powerful combination of carbon and attention metrics, the advertising industry can mitigate its contribution to climate change. It's a strategy that not only benefits the environment but also leads to more effective and impactful ads. It's time for the industry to embrace this win-win approach.