Carboncut visual

February 28, 2023

Hawk’s new Carboncut programme includes reducing environmental impact of ad creatives

Written by Lucie Marand

28 February 2023; London

European omnichannel advertising platform, Hawk, has launched Carboncut to help media agencies and advertisers reduce their carbon emissions. The comprehensive programme takes a holistic view of the advertising process; it kicks into action before a campaign goes live and continues, post activation, throughout the campaign life cycle. 

In collaboration with carbon calculator specialist DK, Hawk’s initiative measures and analyses the carbon ‘weight’ of the creatives on all advertising channels; heavier creative assets have a larger impact on the overall carbon footprint of the campaign than lighter ones. This pre-campaign starting point contrasts with the standard method of solely measuring the supply path emissions produced by programmatic ad delivery.

Carboncut enables Hawk to report on the carbon impact of the creatives themselves, before the campaign has been activated; clients can then opt to work with Hawk’s integrated creative studio to reduce the carbon weight of these, without impacting their effectiveness. Further reporting will show how much this ‘creative cleaning’ process has reduced the carbon impact of the ad. In the third stage of the process, the streamlined creatives are served using Hawk’s omnichannel demand side platform (DSP), optimised by the operations team to find the most energy-efficient and sustainable impressions it can buy.

The launch of Hawk’s Carboncut programme comes as the IAB Europe’s Sustainability in Digital Advertising State of Readiness Report shows that 51% of digital advertisers don’t currently measure the emissions produced by the delivery of ads. The report also lists sustainability as one of top three challenges for advertising businesses, behind cookieless targeting and measurement.

Meanwhile research from WARC and Kantar proves the importance of creative assets, with high-quality creatives driving more than four times as much profit as low-quality ones.

“We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously; at the same time, we need to ensure that advertising is effective and delivers ROI for brands and agencies,” says Chris Childs, UK managing director at Hawk. “The creative aspect has always been a core element of Hawk’s business model and it’s no different now as the digital world begins to look at how it can reduce the impact of advertising on the climate. Carboncut has been designed to address the complete advertising process; that starts with creatives that lose nothing in their design and power while also minimising their carbon impact, and continues to ensure the path through which they are delivered on to all digital screens is fully optimised with sustainability as a priority.”

Current estimates indicate that the overall environmental impact of the internet is 2-4% of global carbon emissions, while a typical ad campaign is responsible for 5.4 tons of CO2.

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