LONDON, UK — It’s not every day you can chalk up a “win-win”. But ad buyers’ quest for shorter programmatic supply chains may do the climate a favor.

“The advertising industry’s quest for transparency and cost efficiency in the programmatic world has inadvertently unlocked a path towards sustainability,” Julie Selman, SVP, Head of EMEA, Magnite says.

Speaking with me at Looking Ahead: TV in Europe 2025, a Beet.TV Leadership Summit, presented by Magnite & Publica, Selman delves into the intersection of supply path optimization (SPO) and sustainability.

The Intersection of SPO and Sustainability

“Supply path optimization has been around for a few years as a concept and is really coming into form really in the last sort of 18 months,” Selman explains. “It really started with buyers – agencies, advertisers – looking for a more transparent and cost-efficient way to transact.”

The rise of programmatic advertising has led to a cluttered and fragmented marketplace where a single buyer may be transacting through multiple DSPs (Demand Side Platforms) and SSPs (Supply Side Platforms).

This fragmentation has now triggered a trend among advertisers and agencies to consolidate, cutting out surplus SSPs and DSPs.

Selman points out that this consolidation trend is not just about simplifying transactions; it’s also about sustainability. “All these different ad calls going out and a lot of waste in the programmatic industry means that there’s also a lot of carbon waste and a carbon footprint is quite big.”

SSP Path Consolidation Will Boost Sustainability: Magnite’s Evans

Greenbids: An AI Solution

To tackle this, Selman’s company partnered with Greenbids, a French company that uses AI to create algorithms that identify the best supply paths. “We’ve partnered with them so we can give them access to our traffic shaping capabilities, which are very strong,” Selman says.

The partnership has already yielded promising results. In one French campaign, Selman shares: “We saw a 24% reduction in the carbon output, which is really encouraging and still getting the same (advertising) results. So the advertiser is not compromising on things like performance or reach.”

Striking a Balance in Programmatic Advertising

While the idea of reducing carbon output through supply path shortening is appealing, Selman notes that the programmatic world must find a middle ground.

“We’ve come a long way from one-on-one transacting. It’s not sustainable either. It’s not efficient.”

But Magnite is also taking broader strides towards sustainability. “We are partnering with Ad Net Zero and we partner with IAB Europe on their sustainability committee. We work with companies like Greenbids3, Scope3,” Selman says. She believes that reducing a company’s carbon footprint will soon become a standard expectation across industries.

You’re watching “Looking Ahead: TV in Europe 2025,” a Beet.TV Leadership Summit, presented by Magnite & Publica. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.