01.11.2021 – 09:45
- LichtBlick investigation makes emissions along the entire value chain of a campaign transparent
- Result: Digital advertising is energy-intensive – and therefore not always climate-friendly
In a study on the brand campaign “Anything can. Nothing has to.” LichtBlick had digital advertising media examined for their CO2 * footprint. The sustainability consultancy corsus and LichtBlick partner Cozero, who developed software for CO2 tracking, have analyzed the emissions of digital advertising sets, digital out-of-homes (DOOHs), digital TV clips (TVCs) as well as posters and postcards – from production up to the playout. The detailed analysis helps to understand exactly where emissions are caused and to what extent, in order to reduce or avoid them in the future. The result: digital doesn’t mean CO2-free.
“The net sales with digital advertising in Germany have more than tripled in the last eight years. Marketing and communication experts are now required to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused by their measures. Our study enables a dedicated look at this, as already done by Starting with the campaign planning, greenhouse gases can be avoided or reduced “, says Anja Fricke, Communication Manager at LichtBlick.
Power quality is a crucial factor
The study shows: Energy consumption in particular determines the greenhouse gas emissions generated in digital campaigns. “This is why the quality of the electricity is decisive, whether it is green electricity or gray electricity, for example when we think of the operation of digital advertising space. In addition, the data transmission and the energy consumption are decisive when it is played,” says Dr. Corine Veithen, climate expert at LichtBlick.
The type of private device (smartphone, tablet, desktop computer, smart TV) or digital billboard is decisive for the display. The screens on which DOOHs are played have a power consumption for display, local cooling and storage. They require more than 500 times more energy than smartphones and on average six times as much energy as smart TVs. This means that they also cause correspondingly higher greenhouse gas emissions.
The carbon footprint of digital advertising campaigns is often not shown
There is also potential for development in the CO2 accounting for advertising measures. Frequently asked about analog campaign elements such as types of printing, paper quantities as well as quality and disposal. Campaign planning is now mostly, sometimes even exclusively, based on digital channels. “Of course, the calculation tools have to adapt to the realities of marketing – and they are digital today,” says Veithen. “Unfortunately, so far there is hardly any scientific knowledge about emissions from digital advertising. Our study gives a first, rough estimate.”
“Overall, the study provides important findings on emissions from digital services. We are pleased that we can now transfer these findings to our Cozero products and put them into practical use,” says Helen Tacke, founder and managing director of Cozero GmbH.
LichtBlick campaign has a CO2 footprint of almost 18 tons
The LichtBlick campaign examined had a total CO2 footprint of 17,862kg CO2. The largest part of this is accounted for by digital out-of-homes (6,643kg CO2).
The results show that – depending on the display case – different variables (data transfer, display) have the greatest influence on emissions. “Perhaps our investigation will lead to CO2 per impression becoming the KPI of the future,” says Anja Fricke.
All other results are summarized in a background paper. You can find this as well as high-resolution graphics here.
* CO2 is used here synonymously with CO2e and includes all six greenhouse gases according to the Kyoto Protocol.
About the investigation:
To calculate the emissions, primary data from LichtBlick SE and from cooperating advertisers were combined with literature and background data. The focus was on the energy consumption for creating and playing out the assets. The energy consumption for the production and provision of the necessary infrastructure (e.g. the expansion of the fiber optic network or the production of the data center hardware) was not considered further.
Cozero enables companies to effectively decarbonise and thus sustainably transform their business, taking into account the financial and economic implications. The core is a software solution that digitally records the CO2 balance of the entire value chain and analyzes it with the aid of AI. With the help of an impact analysis and investment calculation based on the emissions data, optimization measures are then initiated with the involvement of all stakeholders. Further information: www.cozero.io
corsus – the sustainability consultancy provides impetus for innovations and advises companies, organizations, municipalities as well as politics and administration on developing and implementing their sustainability strategy. corsus offers practical solutions that consider future trends. The relevant fields of action are identified by means of materiality analyzes and the instruments suitable for problem solving are defined. Climate and ecological balances are only part of the well-founded expertise. Further information: www.corsus.de
More than 20 years ago LichtBlick started to campaign as a pioneer for renewable energies. Today green electricity is the new normal and LichtBlick Germany’s leading provider of green electricity and heat. Nationwide, over 1.7 million people live and work with the energy from LichtBlick. Over 400 people who see light develop products and services for a climate-neutral lifestyle. In 2020, the climate protection company achieved sales of 1.1 billion euros. LichtBlick is part of the Dutch energy transition pioneer Eneco. Eneco wants to double its wind and solar capacity by 2025 and thus generate green electricity for around 2.4 million households. Info: www.lichtblick.de
Anja Fricke, Communication Manager, Tel. +49 151 41972957
LichtBlick SE, Zirkusweg 6, 20359 Hamburg
Original content by: LichtBlick SE, transmitted by news aktuell