Blog Post

How Marketing Analytics Can Drive Businesses Towards Carbon Net Zero

Kevin O’Farrell
Kevin O’Farrell 06.21.2023

As the urgency to address the climate crisis intensifies, businesses are increasingly recognizing the need to align their operations with sustainability goals. Achieving carbon net zero targets in media planning and execution has become a priority for organizations across industries around the globe.

In the UK, some of the biggest advertising and marketing associations have joined forces to combat carbon emission with Ad Net Zero. The organization’s five-point Action Plan provides the industry with a guide for a transition to net zero. Action 3 specifically encompasses the reduction of emissions from Media Planning & Buying – which is where data and analytics come into play.

Marketing analytics can play a pivotal role in helping businesses track and reduce their carbon emissions, with a specific focus on emissions by marketing channels and platforms. By using the right data sources – coming from providers such as Scope 3, GoodLoop, RightThingMedia, or GoodNet – and setting the right key performance indicators (KPIs), businesses can drive progress towards net zero.

Understanding Carbon Emissions by Marketing Channels and Platforms

To effectively tackle carbon emissions, businesses must first identify the major sources of environmental impact within their marketing activities. By analyzing data from various marketing channels and platforms, organizations can gain insight into the emissions generated throughout the customer journey. This includes emissions from advertising campaigns, digital platforms, social media, email marketing, and more. The use of marketing analytics tools enables businesses to measure, track, and optimize emissions across these channels, paving the way for targeted sustainability strategies.

Leveraging Data Sources

The data that brands want to look at is Scope 3 emissions. They encompass indirect greenhouse gas emissions generated throughout a company's value chain. These emissions are often the largest contributors to an organization's carbon footprint. Scope 1 would be direct emissions like vehicles or boilers. Scope 2 includes emissions a company makes indirectly – like when the electricity or energy it buys for heating and cooling buildings (Deloitte).

By integrating Scope 3 data from suppliers, customers, and partners into their analytics frameworks, businesses can gain a comprehensive understanding of their indirect emissions. This data-driven approach enables companies to identify opportunities for emission reductions and collaborate with stakeholders towards shared sustainability goals.

Setting KPIs for Carbon Net Zero

To achieve net zero, businesses must establish clear and measurable KPIs that align with their carbon reduction targets. Marketing analytics provides the necessary insights to define these KPIs and monitor progress over time. By leveraging robust analytics platforms, organizations can track emission reductions, optimize marketing campaigns to minimize carbon impact, and measure the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives. These KPIs serve as vital benchmarks for continuous improvement and accountability.

The Role of Marketing Analytics

Marketing analytics offers a powerful solution for businesses striving to reach their carbon net zero targets. By analyzing emissions across various marketing channels and platforms, integrating data from Scope 3 sources, and setting KPIs, organizations can make data-driven decisions to reduce their environmental impact in meaningful ways.

Embracing sustainable practices in marketing not only contributes to the global effort to combat climate change but also fosters consumer trust and loyalty. As businesses continue their sustainability journey, marketing analytics will play an increasingly essential role in driving positive environmental change.