MARCO ISLAND, FL — When the call to save the planet comes through, you don’t turn it down.

That is why, two weeks into a hiatus, OMD USA and BBDO New York CEO John Osborn accepted an invitation to head a new organization aiming to reduce carbon emissions from digital advertising operations in the US.

Osborn just launched the US wing of Ad Net Zero, a global organization that helps companies take a collaborative approach to that mission.

In this interview with Beet.TV‘s Andy Plesser at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, Osborn, who is director of Ad Net Zero, discusses the group’s approach.

Race to reduce

“Our mission is to unify the advertising industry and all the various apertures, the whole ecosystem around a set of standards and best practises so that we can really drive behaviour, change and action towards net zero carbon reduction,” Osborn says.

Ad Net Zero has five actions, Osborn says:

  1. Lowering carbon emissions within companies through internal measures (e.g. travel and energy use).
  2. Making production processes more sustainable.
  3. Improving sustainability in the media ecosystem.
  4. Making sustainability a requirement in events and award shows.
  5. Encouraging behavior change towards more sustainable advertising practices.

The goal is to reach “Ad Net Zero” by 2050, where the advertising industry’s carbon footprint is balanced with efforts to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as the industry releases.

Counting digital carbon

At its ALM event, IAB Tech Lab announced a partnership with the Ad Net Zero body and the Scope3 measurement service called Green Supply Path Initiative.

The ad industry, pushed by buyers, is on a quest to count carbon emitted as a result of programmatic trading, which some see as inefficient on energy consumption despite its efficiency in terms of trading.

But some sustainability professionals complain that there is as yet no single agreed way of counting.

With the Green Supply Path Initiative, the aim is to develop “the benchmark for how carbon emission signals are sent and received programmatically”.

You’re watching ‘What’s Next: Scaling CTV Through Industry Collaboration,’ a Beet.TV Leadership Series produced at IAB ALM 2023, presented by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.