Customer Stories - Piano

How a leader in the digital economy used Traace to measure the carbon footprint of its activities and understand the impact of its software products.

The Company

Leading provider of analytics solutions for corporate digital assets

Operating worldwide, Piano offers Analytics and Activation solutions in the world of digital marketing.

Analytics, formerly known as AT Internet or XiTi, is an advanced performance measurement solution for digital platforms(websites, mobile applications, ...) designed, developed and maintained in France for nearly 30 years.

Its mission is to provide its customers with the data and insights they need to make informed decisions and optimize their online revenues and performance.

One of Piano's core values is, and always has been, innovation. The company continually invests in research and development to offer ever more advanced solutions adapted to the evolving needs of its customers.

As a major player in the digital ecosystem, Piano is committed to supporting its customers in their transition to an increasingly complex and competitive digital economy


Gain real insight into and control over your carbon footprint, so you can bear witness to it, take concrete action and respond to commercial and regulatory demands.

Piano has always attached great importance to ethics and corporate social responsibility. In a context where privacy and data security are major issues, Piano is committed to respecting the highest standards of transparency, integrity and protection of its users' personal data.

Taking climate issues into account follows the same logic. While the digital sector accounts for "only" 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the sector's double-digit growth and the advent of AI are likely to lead to a consequent rise in CO2 emissions. As a major player in the SaaS sector, Piano was quick to understand the need to get involved in the fight against climate change.

With this in mind, Piano chose Traace for : 

Measure and analyze its carbon footprint to better understand the impact of its activity on the environment and its most significant emission sources.

Identify the main levers for action that will enable it to reduce its carbon footprint and make a concrete contribution to the fight against climate change.

To meet the increasingly recurrent demands of their customers, who are keen to know the impact of the digital tools they use on a daily basis, and to meet the environmental criteria of calls for tender.

Anticipate future environmental regulations to which the company will be subject in the coming years, such as the CSRD, and be able to turn this compliance into a competitive advantage as they were able to do with the RGPD.

Traace expertise

Enable precise measurement of the carbon footprint of the digital sector, thanks in particular to the faithful integration of the Boavizta method.

Accounting for carbon footprints in the digital sector, and in SaaS in particular, can be a complex business. Relying on our tool and Traace's expertise, Piano's teams hoped to obtain the most robust measurement possible. The priority being to account for the emissions generated by their analytics software.

aim was to identify emissions generated throughout the product development and use chain, i.e. :
traffic generated by end users
cloud computing
how customers use the platform

As with the vast majority of SaaS software, Piano hosts its solution with external service providers. Until now, therefore, they had to rely on the data transmitted by their hosting providers to quantify the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the use of their servers. These data were unreliable, and didn't provide a clear picture of the carbon footprint associated with computing.

To solve this problem, they decided to use the methodology proposed by Boavizta, a methodology specific to Cloud Computing, which enables a precise estimation of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the use of servers. Boavizta aggregates open source data on CO2 emissions linked to the creation of hardware for the Cloud, as well as on the use of this hardware. By cross-referencing its machine occupancy rate with Boavizta data, Piano was able to obtain a precise estimate of the quantities of CO2 generated by the servers it uses, and then import this data into the Traace software.

To get as close as possible to reality, Piano then wanted to extend its analysis to emissions generated outside its own infrastructures. The difficulty was to account for emissions linked to the use of their software solution by end-users.

Piano and Traace therefore analyzed, for each request made by users:
the code execution time on a user terminal
the weight of the https request transiting the networks before arriving on the servers

This methodology made it possible to collect precise data which is then associated with the corresponding emission factor on the Traace platform, giving a clear view of the carbon footprint generated by the product.

The granularity of this approach has also made it possible to associate the energy mix corresponding to each country, depending on where https requests are sent and where servers are located, thus providing an ever more precise view of the product's carbon footprint.

The remainder of the company's carbon footprint was accounted for via the implementation of forms within the Traace platform, enabling activity data to be collected from the various internal and external stakeholders, then automatically processed to transform it into carbon equivalents.

The first carbon assessment was carried out with the support of Traace's climate consultants, who assisted Piano with the collection methodology and software configuration, enabling the teams to be fully autonomous in carrying out their 2023 carbon assessment.

The results

Highlighting the carbon weight of the product in the total footprint, and in particular the importance of data transit

The first observation made by Piano's teams was the significant difference between the results obtained via Traace and those of the first carbon footprint they had carried out on a traditional basis, particularly in terms of the emissions generated by the product.
The data collected and then processed within our solution enabled the results to be visualized clearly . The dashboards showed that scope 3, and in particular the product, accounted for the vast majority of Piano France's greenhouse gas emissions.

The main emission items are as follows:
➡️ Product: 74%
➡️ Commuting: 5%
➡️ Business travel: 3%

Fairly representative of the digital sector, Piano's products account for almost 75% of emissions, 80% of which are linked to the transit of data from users' terminals to the publisher's servers.

These billions of requests, originating from all over the world, represent the main source of emissions, and de facto, should represent the company's main lever for decarbonization
. However, like all companies whose scope 3 accounts for the bulk of emissions, Piano faces a major difficulty. This is the scope in which it has the least direct room for manoeuvre.

Several solutions have been identified by Piano to reduce its footprint, starting with optimization of the product's eco-design, particularly in terms of the quantities of information sent in the https request collected and then processed.

While it remains difficult to reduce the volume of user requests, Piano can still act on the resources required to process them. The Piano teams have developed an eco-mode that reduces processing time by almost 60%, thanks to an algorithm that identifies distinct values in a set of data and avoids the need to process them as a whole.

Educating users about their use of data is also an option. In order to avoid users having to make massive copies of data that could be used for their internal processes, Piano has set up a data sharing system enabling its customers to have direct access to their data without having to go through this particularly energy-intensive export/copy stage.

Piano remains convinced that efforts to reduce their carbon footprint are beneficial not only for the environment, but also for their customers and their financial health. Energy sobriety, if it is organized and not undergone, enables the optimization of resources to the benefit of the company and all its stakeholders.

The analysis carried out via Traace has enabled them to better analyze their sources of emissions and identify their areas for improvement, as well as the room for maneuver they have to take concrete action for the climate.

Thanks to the support of Traace, particularly in the choice of methodologies and emission factors, we now have a reliable view of our environmental impact, enabling us to better respond to current and future market and regulatory challenges, as well as to project ourselves into new opportunities linked to these subjects."

Louis-Marie Guerif
Group DPO & Sustainability Manager
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