Insight

Low impact marketing

What does eco-marketing mean for your business?

Low impact marketing. Not a phrase we ever thought we’d use. But… in building a super-eco brand this month, we have learnt a great deal about the environmental impact of marketing. We can go much further than using recycled paper for your brochures. 

Last week, we spoke about what we believe will dominate business in 2021. Namely, ethics, responsibility, and transparency. But what about the planet? No matter what you think of how the government has handled the past year, the urgent demands of climate change remain undeniable.

The UK’s target of net zero emissions by 2050 will come around quicker than we think. And it’s up to businesses everywhere to continue to do as much as we can to minimise our environmental impact and push towards a more sustainable world.

But it isn’t about what you say; it’s more about what you do. Engaging in more eco-marketing – or sustainable/green marketing – is something we think should be high on priority lists this year.

What is eco-marketing?

The simplest eco-marketing initiative? Just stop printing materials where you can. The massive push behind digital marketing and social media over the past few years has aligned perfectly with this. Does anyone even hand out business cards anymore?

Use recycled and recyclable materials if print remains necessary. Demand vegetable inks. And how about a printing firm that runs on renewable energy? Beyond that, just be more conscious of the waste you’re creating. Physical events can’t happen at the moment, but cast your mind back to when they could. Did you have flyers? Handouts? Promotional items to give away? They all contribute massively. Even within your own office, ask yourself if you can cut down on how much your company prints in a day.

But eco-marketing isn’t only about minimising physical waste. Brightly lit screens and large images or videos use far more energy online. Reducing your screen brightness from 100% to 70% can actually save up to 20% of the energy your monitor uses. But what about when making design decisions for your website? Video uses far more energy than images; clean and simple images use less energy than high-res complex ones.

SEO-optimised websites are themselves more eco-friendly, cutting down audience browsing time and minimising energy consumption. And the same can be said for websites that make seamless user experience a priority.

These are considerations to make when marketing yourself online and building your organisation’s digital presence. Truly sustainable marketing is also about looking outside of yourself and your business. If you outsource all or part of your marketing, do you have partners who share your commitments and values? Rather than taking the ‘it’s not my responsibility’ attitude, make a conscious effort to choose more sustainable suppliers where possible. A B Corp accreditation is hard earned and a strong marker.

What does it mean for businesses?

‘Eco-friendly’ is so much more than a product description. 45% of consumers would choose eco-friendly products over an alternative, yes. But this goes deeper. Your integrity and your business’ purpose-driven approach are three times more important to consumers than competence or cost. People are looking for dependable businesses with a grander purpose than earning a living.

Moving past simply sharing your business’ ethical behaviours through your marketing channels to actually making those marketing channels themselves more sustainable shows a deeper commitment. It proves your business is embedding ethical practice and climate change into its core. That you’re willing to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

It’s about having an ongoing, long-term commitment to making a change. Look at a green-energy company like OVO Energy who understands they will have a carbon footprint no matter what they do. But they make sure to have a plan in place that shows, by 2030, what they want to achieve. Their goal is embedded in every facet of their organisation.

In an increasingly conscious world, we have to be aware of what we do as companies. It isn’t because of intense scrutiny making us be better; we should want to be better. We should want to be leading the way and making these changes that put us at the forefront of our industry. Not because someone is telling us to, but because we can do it. And when we put people and the planet at the top of our agenda, profit is sure to follow.

It isn’t just about securing the best results from your marketing strategies. We need to be more ethical. If that speaks to you, get in touch with Luma today.

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