Good-Loop launches ad tracker to monitor carbon cost of digital campaigns

Green Ad Tag detects data transmission in real time, allowing for variations in territory, device, bandwidth use and time of day.

Amazon rainforest: fire in the Brazilian state of Para last August (Photo: Florian Plaucheur/Getty Images)
Amazon rainforest: fire in the Brazilian state of Para last August (Photo: Florian Plaucheur/Getty Images)

Good-Loop, the ethical adtech company that took an investment from You & Mr Jones earlier this year, has launched an ad tracker that lets advertisers monitor and offset the exact carbon cost of their digital campaigns.

Good-Loop’s Green Ad Tag uses a 1x1 pixel inserted into ads, using a similar technology to trackers for viewability or brand safety. It can monitor any digital campaign, including formats such as out of home. 

The tracker detects data transmission in real time, allowing for variations in territory, device, bandwidth use and time of day. The carbon costs of these are then combined with electricity consumption to allow advertisers and agencies to see the carbon impact of their campaigns through a dashboard.

The critical need for all business sectors to reduce their carbon impact was emphasised last week when scientists confirmed that, for the first time, the Amazon rainforest is emitting more carbon than it is able to absorb. Good-Loop said that a typical online ad campaign emits 5.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is almost half of what an average person in the UK produces in a year.

Good-Loop will offset the carbon cost through Verified Carbon Standard projects and provide recommendations on how advertisers can reduce the impact of their media buying. One option available to brands will be buying ads using a rate called “TreePM”, which plants a tree for every 1,000 impressions purchased.

The initiative is just one of a series of moves in the past year aimed at helping the ad industry become carbon net zero by 2030. This is the objective of Ad Net Zero, a scheme launched last November by the Advertising Association, IPA and ISBA. 

In May, Unilever and Nestlé became the first brand owners to commit to paying a green levy of 0.25% of the cost to produce an ad. The levy will support AdGreen, a plank of Ad Net Zero, which is developing a carbon calculator for advertising.

Last month, the IPA launched its Media Climate Charter, which also offers a carbon calculator. Good-Loop itself launched a free carbon calculator on World Environment Day on 5 June. Last October, meanwhile, Purpose Disruptors launched Ecoffectiveness, a metric that links the profit generated by a campaign to the “cradle to grave” carbon impact of the sales uplift it generates. 

Amy Williams, chief executive and founder of Good-Loop, said: “Whether it’s the Ad Net Zero initiative or the IPA’s Media Climate Charter, there have been some encouraging recent signs that the ad industry is finally starting to get its act together and acknowledge it needs to do more to address the negative impact it has on the environment.

“But to ensure these commitments are not just more hot air, advertisers need access to the right tools to help them significantly reduce their carbon footprints.

"Good-Loop’s Green Ad Tag does just that, providing brands and agencies with on-the-button, real-time information about their live campaigns, helping them to drive efficiencies and cut carbon costs throughout the lifetime of their media plans.”

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