In a continuous effort to assist the advertising industry in reducing carbon emissions, IAB Tech Lab, the global digital advertising technical standards-setting body, has achieved the first of many milestones. Today, the organization unveiled the Sustainability Playbook, a guided resource developed by IAB Tech Lab’s Sustainability working group, aimed at promoting sustainable media best practices in programmatic advertising. This playbook serves as a valuable tool to guide and assist industry professionals in their endeavors to make advertising more environmentally friendly.
By providing comprehensive guidance to both buyers and sellers, the Sustainability Playbook empowers participants in the digital advertising industry to proactively reduce the carbon emissions of their programmatic supply chains. The playbook places a strong emphasis on practical recommendations and the utilization of existing best practices that enable buyers and sellers in the advertising industry to simultaneously minimize their environmental impact and uphold their responsible economic principles.
“The media is currently at a crucial juncture in our collective efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and embrace sustainable practices,” said Hillary Slattery, Director, Programmatic Product Management, IAB Tech Lab. “Our aim with the introduction of the Sustainability Playbook is to provide a simplified checklist for both buyers and sellers to implement the suggested recommendations, fostering a greener programmatic ecosystem. By working together, we can make significant strides towards achieving our goal of sustainable programmatic advertising.”
For the sell-side the guide recommends limiting multi-hop resellers and cookie syncs, implementing a unique, persistent identifier for an ad unit on a page like Global Placement ID (gpid), using preferred paths, and others. Buyers are encouraged to reduce the level of bidding on duplicative requests using gpid, limit purchase of multi-hop impressions, support pod bidding, leverage interoperable IDs where possible, and many more.
“Reducing carbon in programmatic ad tech means reducing the amount of requests and data being processed by the ad tech ecosystem,” said Curt Larson, Chief Product Officer at Sharethrough. “While there are many ways to move in that direction, the new IAB Tech Lab Sustainability Starter Guide helps clarify what the clear and currently feasible steps are to implement now. This will be an ongoing journey, but this guide helps us start down that road with a unified map.”
“When selecting a supply partner to buy from, we’re prioritizing those who are increasingly making sustainability a key area of focus, typically by engaging directly with the publisher and cutting out unnecessary hops in the supply chain,” added Rory Latham, Senior Director, Global Programmatic Investment at GroupM. “Sellers that are continuously innovating to provide the most direct, transparent path to supply allow us to limit our carbon footprint, and will, over time, enable us to achieve net zero emissions.”
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