IAB Europe Releases Annual State of Readiness Report into Sustainability in Digital Advertising  

IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem, has announced the results of its latest annual ‘State of Readiness - Sustainability in Digital Advertising’ Report for 2024. 

The main findings highlighted that the vast majority of businesses in the digital advertising industry have started their journey towards CO2e reduction at 70%. The report also shows that the adoption of solutions and development of tools (90%) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the digital advertising supply chain and the need for consistent standards for GHG estimation (89%) are crucial to driving progress within the industry. 

The report, now in its second year, received 186 responses from across 29 European markets and provides key insights into how much of a priority sustainability is for businesses in the ecosystem, and how much progress companies have made in reducing their carbon footprint and improving sustainable practices.

Key findings from the 2024 State of Readiness Report highlight:

Sustainability Priority: Sustainability is still seen as a key challenge for the digital advertising industry in 2024 with it being cited as just as important as cookieless targeting and measurement to businesses.

Priorities for Progress: Greenhouse gas (GHG) impact was identified as a primary concern, with the adoption and development of solutions and tools (90%) that reduce GHG emissions in the digital advertising supply chain, and consistent standards for GHG estimation (89%) being cited as crucial for driving progress.

External Verification: A majority of respondents agree on the necessity for external verification regarding CO₂e measurement and standards.

Drivers for Sustainability: Corporate social responsibility, client expectations, and compliance with regulations emerge as the primary drivers for businesses' interest in sustainability.

Progress Towards CO₂e Reduction: Nearly three-quarters (70%) of respondents have initiated efforts to reduce CO₂e emissions.

Key Actions Taken: Sustainability initiatives such as environmental audits, participation in industry forums, and the creation of checklists are among the actions taken by companies on their sustainability journey.

Room for Improvement: There is consensus on the need for further education, consistent standards, and transparency within the industry.

Commenting on the findings, Steffen Johann Hubert, Lead Sustainability at Seven.One Media and Vice-Chair of IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee said, “IAB Europe’s second State of Readiness Report clearly emphasises that we are focusing our work in the Sustainability Standards Committee on the right challenges: Education, standardisation, transparency as well as measurement and reduction of emissions. Although many of the European regulatory requirements like CSRD & ESRS, CSDDD, GCD, and so on have not yet been implemented in the market, it is also clear that the digital advertising industry is taking the focus on the topic seriously and has intensified it once again since the last survey.”

Audrey Danthony, Co-Founder - Chief Product Officer at IMPACT+ also commented, “IAB Europe's Sustainability in Digital Advertising Report highlights some of the clear, tangible progress the industry has made in acknowledging the impact it has on the environment. It’s encouraging to see that the industry is getting serious about sustainability. 

However, while there are promising signs, the report also highlights we still have a lot more work to do to take this commitment to the next level. It’s urgent that players within the industry adopt best practices and robust solutions at scale to systematically evaluate and drastically reduce emissions of all their campaigns. When it comes to the future of our planet, every single ad impression counts.” 

IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee, a multi-stakeholder group that aims to share insights and deliver outputs that help to reduce the amount of energy consumed and emissions produced by digital advertising will be using the survey findings to help drive its 2024 work plan forward.

For more information on IAB Europe and the work being done to drive sustainability in digital advertising forward, visit the IAB Europe Sustainability Hub or contact communication@iabeurope.eu.

The full report with accompanying graphs can be downloaded from IAB Europe’s website HERE.

IAB Europe

IAB Europe is the European-level association for the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem. Through its membership of media, technology and marketing companies and national IABs, its mission is to lead political representation and promote indus...
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