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Data & Sustainability — Why it is Time to Marry the Two

April 21st, 2022


Nikolai Scholz
Director, Product Management


Earth Day is a day that we, at Adara, hold very close to our hearts; a day commemorating a virtuous cause that connects all of us. The Earth Day mission is to “diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.” This year’s theme is very appropriate: Invest In Our Planet. What Will You Do? This statement puts the onus on individuals and companies alike. As a data company, we don’t believe we are an exception. In fact, there are several ways you can apply sustainability to the media and data business. Just as we look to reduce our carbon footprint physically through the type of transportation we take or the number of printed pages we use, we also need to be mindful of the impact on how we use data in the digital world.


Sustainability is a very encompassing concept and the current standard being adopted are the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the UN.


By now, anyone might be familiar with the practice of building a sustainable supply chain in a physical sense, a method to try and achieve net-zero carbon emissions across all stages of transportation, for example. 

Apart from the physical world, though, there is also the digital realm, which includes your company’s data infrastructure as well as your marketing. The former is simpler, and you map out the relationship of every application and vendor you use and trace out how you pass the data. The latter is much more complex. A digital marketing strategy combines your media plan itself, the outcome of your advertising, and the eventual effects of any transactions.

For example, say you ran 100,000 impressions in the last week. The impressions themselves contributed to processing power on your DSP (e.g., DV360) and the publisher where you eventually served your ad (e.g., BuzzFeed). At the same time, you converted 100 people to book flights to New York. This directly leads to emissions brought by that travel. On the other hand, there is potential economic support for local businesses.


To be sustainable conscious, companies need to keep track of both the physical and digital worlds. This way, you can actively develop a strategy that optimizes your supply chains to offset your organization and create a net-zero state.

There are many challenges in driving towards a net-zero data structure, not the least of which is knowing where to begin. Unsurprisingly, the worst position to be in is working blindly. Every organization with a digital presence needs to start building a cloud infrastructure that provides them complete oversight of their data and the ability to optimize their data supply chain. Start by mapping out that supply chain and review it through the specs of sustainability. Before long, you will be able to define sustainability metrics for yourself, monitor them and eventually optimize using them.

At Adara, we take data ethics very seriously, and as such, we encourage and can help you take a step towards ethical applications of data. We understand that “being sustainable” is unique to every company and the changes required to make it happen take time. 

If you’re looking to become more sustainability-conscious, the Adara data consortium solution will allow you to take the first step — gaining control of your first-party data and transforming it into a sustainability-driven framework. In enabling your marketing, we can also offer you data and audiences, allowing you to skew your marketing targets towards bringing more sustainable (i.e., short-haul flyers) and sustainability-minded travelers and tourists to a destination.

No matter where you are in your sustainability journey, now is the time to ask the question: What will you do to invest in your company’s future in sustainability? 


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