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Tags: Programmatic, Publisher, Header Bidding, Ad Serving, Relevant Yield

Updated: January 15, 2024

 In today's digital advertising industry, there is a growing responsibility to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

According to an As You Sow organisation report, many large companies, including those representing the advertising industry, have not yet achieved emissions reductions in the Scope 3 category, including indirect emissions generated in a company's value chain. It is also crucial to take action and pay more attention to environmental impacts, actively seeking practical ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in programmatic advertising.

It is essential to start with even small steps and make conscious choices. Publishers are pivotal in making programmatic advertising and advertising operations more energy-efficient. Exploring and applying diverse methods to improve our practices is essential in this context. Careful planning and optimising processes and resources are crucial for achieving business success and environmental responsibility.

In this text, we have gathered some noteworthy methods to help you progress towards achieving more energy-efficient advertising sales and ad operations.


Practical action recommendations for publishers


Eliminating unnecessary SSPs - Publishers need to assess their technologies and their impact on the business thoroughly. Evaluating Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) is especially relevant for those selling programmatic advertising. There are many players in the industry, and it can be challenging to determine which SSPs provide real value and where discontinuation could be a more energy-efficient option.

When conducting audits, publishers and other advertising sellers can significantly benefit from various analytics tools, such as our developed Relevant Yield solution. This tool provides in-depth insights into the performance of different SSPs. With Relevant Yield, publishers can identify those partners that truly contribute to growth and maintain high CPM (Cost Per Mille) levels. Effectively utilised, Relevant Yield allows for identifying and removing unnecessary partners, reducing energy consumption and the number of excessive ad requests.


Efficient Ensemble - Besides SSPs, it is essential to consider the entirety of advertising sales from an energy efficiency perspective.

It is recommended to analyze whether your website includes ad placements that do not provide significant value to the business. You may consider favouring static ad formats that consume less energy compared to energy-intensive video ads.

To optimise the user experience, avoiding excessive or abundant ads that can also slow down the website's functionality is advisable. This may prolong visitors' time on the site and improve their engagement with the content you offer, which can contribute to increasing advertising revenue.

An effective overall strategy requires comprehensive analysis and experimentation with alternatives, but it can bring significant benefits from both an energy efficiency and advertising revenue perspective. There are various tools available for advertising monitoring and analysis. Relevant Yield, for example, enables precise data analysis on both site-specific and ad placement-specific bases, facilitating tracking visibility and fill rates for determining value.


Testing - Improving the energy efficiency of programmatic advertising is a dynamic and constantly evolving process that requires continuous testing and learning. Publishers need to maintain their flexibility and leverage the latest methods and strategies that genuinely reduce the energy consumption of digital advertising. These measures must not remain mere plans but are actively developed based on practical feedback and measurement results.

This approach enables publishers to act as proactive leaders in reducing the environmental impact of digital advertising, focusing on concrete, measurable results. Relevant Yield provides a platform where publishers can test different approaches and assess their effects accurately. Continuous experimentation and adaptation promote innovation and readiness for change, forming a crucial part of sustainability efforts.


Operational Efficiency - Improving operational efficiency in advertising operations is also critical to enhance energy efficiency. In practice, this means continuous optimisation of the processes and resources within advertising operations.

For instance, automating repetitive tasks such as data analysis and reporting using technology like Relevant Yield can reduce the need for manual labour. This increases work efficiency and lowers system energy consumption as tasks are completed more quickly and effectively. Partial automation of processes reduces the need for manual work and frees up resources for more productive activities.

In addition to revenue tracking, publishers may consider using tools designed for implementing and managing Prebid, as these tools reduce the need for coding expertise and make tasks easier to accomplish. Energy savings can also be achieved by utilising existing solutions, such as Relevant Yield, which eliminates the need for publishers to maintain internal resources for header bidding maintenance and performance improvement.


Team Development - Investing in environmental awareness for publishers is a strategic move. When teams have knowledge and resources focused on sustainable practices, publishers can create a work environment where energy-efficient strategies are recommended and an essential part of the decision-making process. This approach goes beyond compliance with environmental standards; it involves creating a culture in which every team member is aware and actively participates in reducing the environmental impact of digital advertising operations.

Providing teams with the necessary tools and information ensures that energy-efficient strategies are consistently implemented and improved upon, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and potentially receiving positive feedback from stakeholders, including advertisers, consumers, and the broader community.


In conclusion

Achieving sustainability is a collective process involving individual actors' contributions and broader collaboration.

Significant change, especially in environmental sustainability, requires all participation and a commitment to learning and taking small, consistent steps toward common goals. We understand that the scope of the task may seem overwhelming, but the key to change is to start with small, concrete actions that lead us toward more environmentally friendly practices. Every thoughtful choice brings us closer to a future where environmental well-being is just as important as economic success.

Suvi Leino
By: Suvi Leino

Responsible for marketing and communications at Relevant Digital.


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