Dentsu Incorporates Carbon Into Media-Planning Systems

Dentsu International this morning released plans for the next phases of its ongoing campaign to help decarbonize the media supply chain by 46% by 2030.

Beginning early next year, Dentsu said, it will begin to integrate carbon emissions data directly into its proprietary media-planning system -- "CSS Planner" -- which is utilized by all of Dentsu's media-planning and media-buying teams worldwide.

"This will ensure, for the first time ever, brands can set clear carbon targets for campaigns and model alternative scenarios for optimal impact, reach and carbon levels, long before any third-party investment is made, or resources committed," the holding company unit said in a statement.

The data will enable Dentsu and its clients to analyze the carbon emissions impact of media buys "at an impression level," allowing agency and client teams to factor carbon impact into various campaign objectives alongside things like reach, consideration, purchase intent for a "full channel mix."
“With around $740 billion being spent on advertising per annum, media can be a material and significant emission source for brands, so we have the responsibility to be the major catalyst needed for reducing carbon across the media supply chain," Global CEO of Media and Global Clients Peter Huijboom states, noting: "Measurement is a good and necessary first step, and we’ve already seen the value this brings to our clients; however, our new carbon planning capabilities will totally transform how dentsu teams work with brands to meet their sustainability, carbon and Scope 3 targets.”



Since 2019, Dentsu has been working with the U.K.'s University of Bristol and media suppliers including BBC, Sky, Netflix and ITV to map the digital media ecosystem and create a web-based tool to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with digital media content – from post-production to delivery, and on to the end user.

After publishing a prototype calculator in 2021, Dentsu created its own digital media carbon calculator for clients and expanded this into cross-channel media carbon calculation.

The moves were among a variety of industry media carbon calculators that have emerged in recent years as several agencies and clients have begun to move in that direction. Earlier this year, WPP's GroupM unit made a call for -- and said it is developing -- an "industry standard" for calculating the carbon impact of media buys in order to create a common playing field for the ad industry and to avoid confusion in the marketplace.

Dentsu says its clients in the U.K. and France already have begun incorporating its calculator for digital, print, TV, radio and out-of-home media, and that its Carat, iProspect and Dentsu X agency units currently are utilizing it for "both local and global brands."

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