B21F6BB4-1C5E-4341-9402-72115F03EA26 14. June 2023

Sustainability: A new KPI in the media mix

  • Green Media
  • sustainability

A commentary by Richard Offermann, SVP Client Sales, Ströer Media Solutions

Sustainability is rightly a crucial topic. In recent months, the sensitivity in dealing with it has increased. Consumers are also more educated and differentiate more strongly. Companies are therefore well advised to address this issue at product level as well as at company level.

We consume a variety of media every day and we encounter advertising every day - on TV, on the radio, on the street, in the metro or on our own smartphones. And more and more brands are using advertising to promote their green promise. But: For all of us in the media industry, the topic of sustainability also offers new strategic considerations, concerning not only what should be communicated, but also how and by which communication channels. Why should communication not meet the same sustainable requirements as the product itself? This is where I would like to take a closer look and question campaigns regarding the use of more sustainable and lower-emission communication channels and formats. Or more specifically: how high is the CO2 footprint created by an advertising campaign? And this applies to every link in the chain - to the agencies, to the marketers and to the advertising clients.

Committed sustainability can only work if we reduce the resources we use.

To achieve this, we must first understand where and how much emissions are caused and create transparency about what our industry consumes. On this common basis, we can then make adjustments to reduce emissions in the future without compromising the impact and performance of a campaign.

There are various starting points that we are willing to discuss and tackle together, such as optimizing advertising media, formats, and technologies. Years ago, we already started to invest in improving the environmental friendliness of the outdoor advertising portfolio. The focus of improving the environmental friendliness of the outdoor advertising portfolio is the digitalization of media carriers in the public space. The outdoor advertising industry has been working on increasing efficiency and saving energy for many years. In addition to the already low level of relative electricity consumption, the amount of green electricity used to operate the digital OOH advertising media infrastructure has been significantly increased in recent years, and as a result, digital out-of-home media in Germany are largely powered by electricity from renewable energy sources. It is our concern per se to operate our business model as efficiently and thus as resource-conserving as possible. For example, the use of improved LED technology, individually controlled brightness of the screens depending on the surrounding light conditions, shutting down the devices at night and an adapted control of the colour contrasts were developed. These and other measures not only reduce power consumption, but also significantly increase the lifespan of digital advertising media.

Solutions for an ecological and social contribution

The increasing demand for sustainable solutions is an incentive for us to continuously develop our portfolio. We offer services for our customers and partners that make an additional ecological and social contribution. Because sustainability will continue to play a growing role in society and thus also in business, low-emission communication is also becoming increasingly important. A critical and honest examination of this is more than appropriate.

About author


Richard Offermann was born in Wuppertal in 1973. After studying international business administration in Kiel and Almería (Spain), he began his professional career as a corporate finance analyst at KPMG. In 2000, he joined MOTENA AG as CMO - startup for Europe's first automotive e-commerce platform. He then continued his career as a consultant at Accenture and for international direct investors at Germany Trade & Invest. His industry focus included automotive, financial services and retail.

In 2012, Offermann took on the role of Industry Head CPG and then Industry Leader in Sales at Google in Hamburg, before moving to Google Headquarters in Mountain View (USA) as Executive Summit Evangelist in 2016.

In 2017, Richard Offermann moved to Ströer and took on the role of SVP Client Sales at Ströer Media Solutions.