Injecting Sustainability into Digital Advertising - Q&A with Greenbids

Grass in Street

In association with Greenbids.

In this exclusive Q&A, ExchangeWire speaks to Guillaume Grimbert, CEO and co-founder of Greenbids on how sustainability can be pursued effectively alongside business outcomes in digital advertising.

Is digital advertising compatible with a sustainable society?

Advertising in its current form is not sustainable. However, it's also not going anywhere. So, we need to approach this challenge head-on. We need to ask ourselves, "How can we make advertising as efficient and low-carbon as possible?" With that, we set out to find the most innovative solutions that could strike the perfect balance between maximising advertising performance and minimsing environmental impact. 

Why is programmatic advertising broken?

We often regard programmatic advertising as the pinnacle of efficiency, but viewed through a sustainability lens, it's actually a world of waste and substantial carbon emissions. When we first learnt about this hidden flaw, it was a shocking revelation, an inconvenient truth. But it's something we have to face. In its current form, the automated nature of programmatic advertising has led to complexities that not only facilitate ad fraud, lack of transparency, and data privacy concerns, but also overlook its environmental impact.

Guillaume Grimbert, CEO and co-founder, Greenbids

We have to understand that programmatic was built at a time when carbon emissions were less a concern for brands and consumers. The industry needs to fix the programmatic inefficiencies to make it more sustainable without compromising on media performance.

Why is media effectiveness a real challenge to make the industry move towards sustainability?

If there's one thing we've learnt on this journey, it's that the biggest challenge for us in the ad tech industry is striking a balance between media effectiveness and reducing carbon emissions. Let’s face it, before now, an advertiser has never agreed to decrease its media effectiveness to decrease its emissions! We believe we can look at sustainability as a lens on efficiency, which could bring about faster change across the industry. Just like we learnt from the inefficiencies of programmatic advertising, we must now focus on creating solutions that optimise advertising strategies using the least amount of resources possible. 

Will every actor in ad tech survive the transition to a sustainable world?

The shift to a more sustainable world is happening, and it's happening fast. It's a shift that will inevitably challenge every actor in the ad tech industry. But I believe that those who adapt, who embrace change, will thrive. At Greenbids, we extend an open invitation to all industry stakeholders to unite with us on this journey of sustainable evolution.

How can the industry move forward?

Our belief that sustainability and business outcomes are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they can and should be pursued together. As we move forward, the advertising industry should focus on three crucial aspects:

  • Demonstrating positive business outcomes: It's essential to show that reducing digital carbon footprints can lead to better business results. Sustainable practices are not just a moral obligation but also a strategic opportunity.
  • Prioritising tangible actions: The industry needs to shift focus towards measuring and reducing carbon footprints actively, rather than defaulting to off-setting. Regulatory environments will soon catch up with those who take shortcuts.
  • Embracing sustainability as efficiency: Viewing sustainability as a lens on efficiency can bring about faster change across the industry. We can learn from programmatic advertising's wastefulness and consider the entire system in which we operate.

What are the next steps and goals for Greenbids in 2023 and beyond?

Greenbids is on the fast-track. We are expanding our horizons to other markets, including the US and UK. Concurrently, we're diversifying our offerings, developing cutting-edge products and services for both the buy-side and supply-side.

For instance, we are empowering major publishers with smart throttling algorithms. These algorithms dynamically trim the calls to demand partners with negligible to zero probability of response, thereby reducing upstream carbon emissions. What's more, these revolutionary algorithms allow publishers to simplify the maintenance of their ads.txt file.

Our mission is to inject sustainability into every aspect of the programmatic value chain, with the objective of driving transformational change towards a more sustainable ad tech industry. 

Greenbids is committed to becoming the leading company for environmentally responsible digital advertising. We firmly believe that our focus on sustainability will not only redefine efficiency in the digital advertising industry but also catalyse a significant positive impact on our environment.