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14 July 2022
The carbon cost of digital media activity
Net zeroData managementDigital media planning & buying
A formula developed by Swedish tech company SeenThis calculates that for every gigabyte of data used, 1kg of carbon dioxide is released – which puts the media industry on a par with aviation when it comes to emissions.
Why it matters
The internet represents at least 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to the media industry’s overall emissions. With video consumption increasing and widespread use of mobile internet, data consumption is only going to grow – brands need to seriously consider the impact of their digital activity as well as more obvious areas like packaging and transport.
Data centers, core network, content delivery networks, access network and end-user devices are the main contributors to the media industry’s carbon footprint.
A global brand purchasing 40 billion impressions of programmatic advertising in a year could emit as much as 8,000 tons of CO2.
Data transfer is growing at 40% per year – leading to a 40x increase by 2030.
What can be done?
The sheer volume of data can be reduced and data transfer can be made more energy efficient. And the internet needs to be powered by clean energy.