Footsprint, a digital agency dedicated to responsible digital, and 1000heads, a digital transformation consulting agency, have released a new study on the climate impacts of digital influence. A French influencer with 3 million social media followers can generate 1,072 tonnes of CO2e per year, equivalent to 481 round-trip flights between Paris and New York.
3 million subscribers = 1,072 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The aim of the study is to raise awareness of the tangible impacts associated with the digital activities of influencers, extending beyond their physical footprint. In this study, Clara, an anonymized influencer based on existing profiles, has more than 3 million followers on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. According to Footsprint’s measurement methodology, the carbon impact of Clara’s content creation and viewership over a year could reach 1,072 tonnes of CO2e, equivalent to 9 round-trip flights between Paris and New York per week.
The study demonstrates that Clara’s carbon footprint is a collective responsibility that requires the commitment of all stakeholders toward a more frugal approach, including influencers, advertisers, users, and ad agencies. Beyond responsibility, the study focuses on the business opportunity of responsible influence, where carbon efficiency aligns with media performance. It includes benchmarks from both contributors highlighting the positive impact of adhering to good practices of responsible digital behavior on organic and media performance, for both influencers and advertisers.
This observation raises the following question: What are the roles of different stakeholders in the transition towards responsible influence, and how can they act today while protecting their media performance? The study will reveal best practices that can be quickly implemented by advertisers, influencers, and their communities. It will also discuss the role of agencies and ad agencies as mediators.
What are the best practices to maximize emission reduction potential?
- Minimize the duration of video content following best practices to maximize engagement.
- Compress videos without affecting perceived quality.
- Extend the lifespan of content to maximize the impact of short formats.
- Prioritize targeting on Wi-Fi connections rather than cellular data.
- Favor “Low Data” modes available in application settings.
First and foremost, the primary responsibility of influencers, advertisers, and agencies will be to establish a measurement system to incorporate these generated emissions into their respective carbon assessments. At a time when Climate Contracts demand commitments to responsible advertising, there is no doubt that influence will soon be integrated into these regulations. Beyond the constraint, it is an opportunity for these actors to enhance their credibility with their target audience while maximizing their performance.