Tips for Promoting Sustainability in Advertising

Takeaways from expert Julie Kerr

Environmental Sustainability: More Than a Trend, presented by CBC and Radio-Canada Media Solutions - Julie Kerr


February 8th, 2023

This week, Julie Kerr, Director of Digital Ad Product & Revenue Management at CBC & Radio-Canada Media Solutions, spoke on a panel hosted by the Canadian Marketing Association. There she addressed sustainability in advertising and working together to reduce our carbon footprint.


Here are some key takeaways from what she said:

1- When coming up with an advertising campaign it is important to ask what the carbon footprint of this campaign would be.

  • Everything from transportation during production to energy consumption and data emissions can be recorded using a spreadsheet, or your preferred carbon footprint calculator. Please refer to this presentation by CBC’s Lisa Clarkson and Leaticia Kaggwa for more information on what this might look like in practice.

2- Scope 3 Emissions

  • Marketing and advertising are considered scope 3 emissions.

  • Current models enable marketers to offset those emissions in planning.

  • Media advertising spending will be worth over $1 trillion by next year. Depending on the country or region, this is between .3 and .5 kg/CO2 for every $1 spent. That would mean that around 500 million tonnes of CO2 would have to be offset.

  • In future vision, media planning and buying can be optimized towards lower-emitting supply, required to actually reduce the CO2 total emission from the advertising industry. 

3- Work with a trusted partner/Ask the right questions

  • It is important to get multiple perspectives and points of view to validate your data and hypothesis in such an emerging sector.

4- Shortening purchase path is a great way to reduce digital emissions from programmatic buying

  • Buying directly from publishers is the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions. 

  • In programmatic, look for "Green PMPs" using Scope3 Index to optimize to most carbon-efficient emissions in real-time bidding.

5- Tell an authentic story

  • Create a campaign that revolves around an authentic priority—take a look at BMW and Media Expert's Forces of Nature campaign for example, to see how the brand authentically talked about the work they're doing in the Electric Vehicle and Sustainability space.

6- A smaller carbon footprint may be the difference

  • Consumers and brands are starting to value sustainability, and measuring carbon emissions may make the difference when brands are looking to work with advertisers.


Got questions about these takeaways? Contact our team for more details.


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