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Summarizing the New GARM Global Media Sustainability Framework: What Advertisers Need to Know

Sustainability
5
minutes
Technical Level
July 8, 2024
5
minutes
July 8, 2024
Technical Level
Frank Maguire
VP of Insights, Strategy & Sustainability
GARM and Ad Net Zero recently published the long-awaited Global Media Sustainability Framework.

We at Sharethrough are thrilled for this critical step in our industry’s journey towards a more sustainable future. We read all 67 pages of the framework, which is worth the read but since it is a very dense and detailed report, we wanted to summarize the key points for advertisers to further accelerate the ease and adoption of its guidelines.

A Framework for Consistency and Progress

Previously, the lack of consistent measurement has made it difficult for advertisers to accurately assess the environmental impact of their media buys and prioritize partners who are aligned with their sustainability goals. This new framework provides a much-needed solution, establishing clear guidelines for measuring carbon emissions across the media supply chain. For now, it covers TV, digital, and out-of-home advertising, with future plans to expand to include print, radio, and film.

With this standardization, advertisers gain the power to use their buying power to incentivize sustainable practices. By focusing their spend on partners who are demonstrably reducing their carbon footprint, advertisers can directly contribute to positive environmental change. This industry-wide push will accelerate progress towards a more sustainable media landscape.

These standards also crucially comply with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) framework and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and prepare the media and advertising industry for impending emissions data reporting requirements from the UE’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and US SEC’s climate disclosure rules.

Key Takeaways for Advertisers

The full report is comprehensive and much of it is focused on standards, methodology and best practices on how to measure emissions from TV, digital and out-of-home. This is important but if you are working with a trusted source who has gone through this process, then you do not necessarily need to understand all the details. However, advertisers should understand how to evaluate those partners, which is also included in the framework (see “Media Sustainability Solutions Transparency Form” section below). With examples like that in mind, here are the key takeaways for advertisers who want to hit the ground running:

Exploring Pages 12-13: Insights and Best Practices from Trailblazers

This section has some useful tips on how to effectively prioritize sustainability at your organization and some specific steps you can take whether you’re just starting your journey or figuring out how to improve your sustainability efforts. Some highlights include:

  • How to use emissions data to set initial benchmarks so you can track progress over time.
  • Identify “quick wins” from GARM quick action guide.
  • Focus on decreasing emissions in areas of highest spend by market, channel and/or partner.
  • Challenge market-level leaders to consider sustainability in their supplier relationships.
  • Understand that the ultimate goal is still to reach consumers and drive a sales response. As the framework said, “Media sustainability should encourage you to consider the emissions of those activities - not to undermine the goals.”

Adopt the Data Request Form for your RFI Process

Arguably, the most important part of the whole framework for advertisers is on pages 55-56. Those pages link to two templates that you can send to partners to gather necessary sustainability data to evaluate the validity and strength of their sustainability efforts. These include:

Data Request Framework: For Media Sellers and Value Chain Partners 

This Excel framework on page 55, linked here, should be sent to any and all of your media partners. It helps you and the whole industry adopt a common and consistent data request form so you can evaluate the sustainability efforts and goals of your partner. Many agencies, for instance, are using this form to prioritize more sustainable partners and/or help their existing partners learn where they need to improve.

Media Sustainability Solutions Transparency Form: For Media Sustainability Service Providers 

This Word document framework on page 56, linked here, should be sent to partners that help measure carbon emissions from media such as Scope3 or Cedara. It helps explain the scope of services and methodology for how those partners measure emissions.

Yes, there is a lot more to the report but if you understand those main points you should be able to start making a difference right away. By working together under this new framework, advertisers and media companies can create a more sustainable future for our industry. Sharethrough is excited to be a part of this positive change.

To view the free infographic, fill the form below.

GARM and Ad Net Zero recently published the long-awaited Global Media Sustainability Framework.

We at Sharethrough are thrilled for this critical step in our industry’s journey towards a more sustainable future. We read all 67 pages of the framework, which is worth the read but since it is a very dense and detailed report, we wanted to summarize the key points for advertisers to further accelerate the ease and adoption of its guidelines.

A Framework for Consistency and Progress

Previously, the lack of consistent measurement has made it difficult for advertisers to accurately assess the environmental impact of their media buys and prioritize partners who are aligned with their sustainability goals. This new framework provides a much-needed solution, establishing clear guidelines for measuring carbon emissions across the media supply chain. For now, it covers TV, digital, and out-of-home advertising, with future plans to expand to include print, radio, and film.

With this standardization, advertisers gain the power to use their buying power to incentivize sustainable practices. By focusing their spend on partners who are demonstrably reducing their carbon footprint, advertisers can directly contribute to positive environmental change. This industry-wide push will accelerate progress towards a more sustainable media landscape.

These standards also crucially comply with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) framework and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and prepare the media and advertising industry for impending emissions data reporting requirements from the UE’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and US SEC’s climate disclosure rules.

Key Takeaways for Advertisers

The full report is comprehensive and much of it is focused on standards, methodology and best practices on how to measure emissions from TV, digital and out-of-home. This is important but if you are working with a trusted source who has gone through this process, then you do not necessarily need to understand all the details. However, advertisers should understand how to evaluate those partners, which is also included in the framework (see “Media Sustainability Solutions Transparency Form” section below). With examples like that in mind, here are the key takeaways for advertisers who want to hit the ground running:

Exploring Pages 12-13: Insights and Best Practices from Trailblazers

This section has some useful tips on how to effectively prioritize sustainability at your organization and some specific steps you can take whether you’re just starting your journey or figuring out how to improve your sustainability efforts. Some highlights include:

  • How to use emissions data to set initial benchmarks so you can track progress over time.
  • Identify “quick wins” from GARM quick action guide.
  • Focus on decreasing emissions in areas of highest spend by market, channel and/or partner.
  • Challenge market-level leaders to consider sustainability in their supplier relationships.
  • Understand that the ultimate goal is still to reach consumers and drive a sales response. As the framework said, “Media sustainability should encourage you to consider the emissions of those activities - not to undermine the goals.”

Adopt the Data Request Form for your RFI Process

Arguably, the most important part of the whole framework for advertisers is on pages 55-56. Those pages link to two templates that you can send to partners to gather necessary sustainability data to evaluate the validity and strength of their sustainability efforts. These include:

Data Request Framework: For Media Sellers and Value Chain Partners 

This Excel framework on page 55, linked here, should be sent to any and all of your media partners. It helps you and the whole industry adopt a common and consistent data request form so you can evaluate the sustainability efforts and goals of your partner. Many agencies, for instance, are using this form to prioritize more sustainable partners and/or help their existing partners learn where they need to improve.

Media Sustainability Solutions Transparency Form: For Media Sustainability Service Providers 

This Word document framework on page 56, linked here, should be sent to partners that help measure carbon emissions from media such as Scope3 or Cedara. It helps explain the scope of services and methodology for how those partners measure emissions.

Yes, there is a lot more to the report but if you understand those main points you should be able to start making a difference right away. By working together under this new framework, advertisers and media companies can create a more sustainable future for our industry. Sharethrough is excited to be a part of this positive change.

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About Behind Headlines: 180 Seconds in Ad Tech—

Behind Headlines: 180 Seconds in Ad Tech is a short 3-minute podcast exploring the news in the digital advertising industry. Ad tech is a fast-growing industry with many updates happening daily. As it can be hard for most to keep up with the latest news, the Sharethrough team wanted to create an audio series compiling notable mentions each week.

GARM and Ad Net Zero recently published the long-awaited Global Media Sustainability Framework.

We at Sharethrough are thrilled for this critical step in our industry’s journey towards a more sustainable future. We read all 67 pages of the framework, which is worth the read but since it is a very dense and detailed report, we wanted to summarize the key points for advertisers to further accelerate the ease and adoption of its guidelines.

A Framework for Consistency and Progress

Previously, the lack of consistent measurement has made it difficult for advertisers to accurately assess the environmental impact of their media buys and prioritize partners who are aligned with their sustainability goals. This new framework provides a much-needed solution, establishing clear guidelines for measuring carbon emissions across the media supply chain. For now, it covers TV, digital, and out-of-home advertising, with future plans to expand to include print, radio, and film.

With this standardization, advertisers gain the power to use their buying power to incentivize sustainable practices. By focusing their spend on partners who are demonstrably reducing their carbon footprint, advertisers can directly contribute to positive environmental change. This industry-wide push will accelerate progress towards a more sustainable media landscape.

These standards also crucially comply with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) framework and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and prepare the media and advertising industry for impending emissions data reporting requirements from the UE’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and US SEC’s climate disclosure rules.

Key Takeaways for Advertisers

The full report is comprehensive and much of it is focused on standards, methodology and best practices on how to measure emissions from TV, digital and out-of-home. This is important but if you are working with a trusted source who has gone through this process, then you do not necessarily need to understand all the details. However, advertisers should understand how to evaluate those partners, which is also included in the framework (see “Media Sustainability Solutions Transparency Form” section below). With examples like that in mind, here are the key takeaways for advertisers who want to hit the ground running:

Exploring Pages 12-13: Insights and Best Practices from Trailblazers

This section has some useful tips on how to effectively prioritize sustainability at your organization and some specific steps you can take whether you’re just starting your journey or figuring out how to improve your sustainability efforts. Some highlights include:

  • How to use emissions data to set initial benchmarks so you can track progress over time.
  • Identify “quick wins” from GARM quick action guide.
  • Focus on decreasing emissions in areas of highest spend by market, channel and/or partner.
  • Challenge market-level leaders to consider sustainability in their supplier relationships.
  • Understand that the ultimate goal is still to reach consumers and drive a sales response. As the framework said, “Media sustainability should encourage you to consider the emissions of those activities - not to undermine the goals.”

Adopt the Data Request Form for your RFI Process

Arguably, the most important part of the whole framework for advertisers is on pages 55-56. Those pages link to two templates that you can send to partners to gather necessary sustainability data to evaluate the validity and strength of their sustainability efforts. These include:

Data Request Framework: For Media Sellers and Value Chain Partners 

This Excel framework on page 55, linked here, should be sent to any and all of your media partners. It helps you and the whole industry adopt a common and consistent data request form so you can evaluate the sustainability efforts and goals of your partner. Many agencies, for instance, are using this form to prioritize more sustainable partners and/or help their existing partners learn where they need to improve.

Media Sustainability Solutions Transparency Form: For Media Sustainability Service Providers 

This Word document framework on page 56, linked here, should be sent to partners that help measure carbon emissions from media such as Scope3 or Cedara. It helps explain the scope of services and methodology for how those partners measure emissions.

Yes, there is a lot more to the report but if you understand those main points you should be able to start making a difference right away. By working together under this new framework, advertisers and media companies can create a more sustainable future for our industry. Sharethrough is excited to be a part of this positive change.

About Calibrate—

Founded in 2015, Calibrate is a yearly conference for new engineering managers hosted by seasoned engineering managers. The experience level of the speakers ranges from newcomers all the way through senior engineering leaders with over twenty years of experience in the field. Each speaker is greatly concerned about the craft of engineering management. Organized and hosted by Sharethrough, it was conducted yearly in September, from 2015-2019 in San Francisco, California.

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Frank Maguire
VP of Insights, Strategy & Sustainability

About the Author

Frank has spent over a decade at Sharethrough conducting research to better understand how humans respond to advertising to help brands and agencies adapt their unique advertising challenges to ever-evolving media consumption behaviors. In order to accelerate sustainability initiatives at Sharethrough and across the advertising industry, he recently completed his “Sustainability in Business” certification from Harvard Business School. He has also led multiple sustainability initiatives, including helping to launch the ad industry’s first Green Media Product “GreenPMPs,” hosting the advertising industry’s first Green Media Summit and speaking at Climate Week NYC. He is a digital advertising industry veteran, beginning his career working for clients including Nestle, Pfizer and Wyndham on the agency side and then opening up and growing Sharethrough’s East Coast headquarters in NYC.

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