Back Back

DMEXCO survey: Sustainability and new work have become an accepted part of the digital industry

Sustainability may already be high on the priority list for digital companies, but members of the DMEXCO community also agree that it needs to be taken even more seriously in the future. New working models are being used throughout the digital industry, and the vast majority of respondents are already working remotely. In addition, different companies have different interpretations of the issue of diversity. All this and more is clear from the initial results of a survey conducted in the DMEXCO community in June 2021.
June 29, 2021

Companies around the world are engaging with the issue of sustainability and that includes companies in the digital industry. Almost 90% of respondents to a survey conducted within the DMEXCO community say that their company views sustainability as important or very important. Currently, the digital industry rates the issue of sustainability at 3.5 points out of a maximum of 5. Companies both in Germany and on an international level are primarily implementing the following three measures: separating trash and avoiding generating waste in the first place, reducing business travel, and attempting to make operations carbon-neutral. These are the initial results of a non-representative online survey (154 respondents) conducted in the DMEXCO community in June 2021. In line with this year’s motto “Setting new priorities”, DMEXCO also asked members of its community for their take on other topics, including new work and diversity.

Sustainability is very important to the DMEXCO community

Although computer capacity in the digital economy is responsible for high levels of energy consumption, only a minority of digital companies use green electricity: the figure in Germany is already 27%, while internationally it is just 12%. There is also room for improvement in the area of personal transportation, with 30% of companies in Germany and 19% of international ones offering bike and car sharing options. Just 25% of respondents work in companies that support sustainable organizations. An impressive 97% of respondents say that sustainability should be made an even higher priority in the future; first, because it is an important issue in general (30%) and, second, because the digital industry should contribute to environmental protection (34%).

Remote working is standard in the digital industry

New working models like remote working are also helping to make the industry more sustainable. It is worth noting that while only around 25% of employees in Germany were able to work from home at the start of 2021, 86% of respondents from the national DMEXCO community currently have the option to work remotely. Of the respondents, 65% already have access to cloud solutions and mobile hardware, while around 33% of German and 44% of international companies have set up open spaces for their employees.

Diversity is interpreted in different ways

When it comes to the issue of diversity, there are significant differences between German and international respondents in the digital industry. 50% of German digital companies focus on gender neutral language in texts, while the figure on an international level is just 21%. When it comes to diversity and international companies, a balanced proportion of women in management and executive positions – at 51% – takes clear precedence. The figure here in Germany is a mere 32%. International companies also attach greater importance than German companies to the LGBTQ+ debate. The fact that religion is also part of diversity barely seems to be acknowledged, both nationally and internationally, with just 5% of companies providing prayer rooms. Generally speaking, the rating given by the international digital industry – 3.5 out of a maximum of 5 points – shows that it sees itself as somewhat more diverse than the German industry, which rated itself a 3.0 (out of 5 points).

“Our 2021 motto survey shows that sustainability has reached the digital industry, and that it will continue to be an important issue in the future. But it also demonstrates that we as an industry still have plenty of room for improvement. If we want to attract skilled professionals to our industry and retain them, it is essential that we engage with the issues of new work and equal opportunities. The coronavirus pandemic has postponed some priorities, including in our industry, but the results of our survey still demonstrate that companies are aware of their responsibilities”, says Milko Malev, Director Communications & Media at DMEXCO, summarizing the situation.

The non-representative DMEXCO Trend Survey was conducted by DMEXCO as an online survey in June 2021. Responses from 157 German and international participants from the DMEXCO community were evaluated. Participants included visitors, exhibitors, speakers, and journalists.

Image material for DMEXCO is available online at


DMEXCO is Europe’s leading digital marketing & tech event. We are the meeting place and a community for key players in digital business, marketing, and innovation. We bring together industry leaders, marketing and media professionals, and tech pioneers to set the digital agenda. Both globally informed and locally focused, DMEXCO offers an ecosystem with seminars, debates, expositions, and masterclasses outlining the future of the digital economy and driving market value.

In Cologne and online, we set the benchmark as a network and business platform for the digital economy. Decision-makers continue to educate themselves and be inspired, make contacts, and conclude deals. DMEXCO — where tomorrow’s digital business happens today. DMEXCO 2021 will take place digitally on September 7 and 8, 2021.

The German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW) – with the special participation of the Circle of Online Marketers (OVK) – is the ideational and professional partner of DMEXCO and owner of the DMEXCO brand. DMEXCO is organized by Koelnmesse.

Information, along with photos, videos, and original sounds and audio clips, can be found at,,, and