Everything we do has an impact on our world and it is important to make that impact as positive as possible. For many people and companies, improving their impact on the world means turning towards sustainable solutions. Right now, the sustainable market is growing faster than ever before, especially in the world of marketing. According to the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business, sustainability-marketed products grew 5.6x faster than conventionally marketed products from 2013 to 2018. And things aren’t slowing down. In 2019, sustainability-marketed products took up 16.1% of the market but accounted for 54.7% of consumer packaged goods market growth.
Even though digital marketing is not a packaged good, these trends do affect the industry. People are becoming more aware of climate change and the importance of sustainability and marketers must keep up. So, how do you do that? Sustainable marketing!
What is Sustainable Marketing?
Sustainable marketing means using eco-friendly and humane practices and materials. It is similar to being a sustainable packaged good company. Where they would use compostable packaging, digital marketers would work with eco-friendly servers. For traditional marketers, they could use eco-friendly printers to print their materials.
So, besides working with sustainable servers and printers, how else can you make your marketing sustainable?
4 Tips and Tricks for Sustainable Marketing
1. Carefully Choose Your Platforms and Materials
This is especially important for traditional media companies. If you are considering sending out pamphlets, look for alternatives. Using lots of paper hurts the environment so consider alternatives like radio ads or calling the places you would send those pamphlets. If pamphlets are your only option, look for the most eco-friendly paper and printer. One of Colibri’s favorite sustainable printers is Greenprinter.
This tip also applies to digital platforms and tools. When you pay a company to run your ad on their platform or purchase a subscription to a tool, you are supporting their practices, whether or not they align with your values. Before you make any choices, look into the companies values and environmental impact.
2. Reuse What You Can
When thinking about marketing, remember the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle”. It may seem odd to apply this to marketing, but you actually can. Let’s break it down.
- Reduce. Don’t create or use unnecessary things. For example, if you are making a sample flyer, only make a few to reduce waste.
- Reuse. No matter what industry you are in, it’s important to try and reuse what you can. If you have a booth at an event, don’t throw away your materials after, save them and maybe one day you will be able to reuse them.
- Recycle. Use recycled materials! When you take notes, take them on recycled paper if you prefer pens over keyboards. Traditional marketing materials can be made using recycled materials. Consumers will appreciate your efforts.
3. Work With Sustainable Clients
Similar to tip number one, try to work with companies whose mission and vision for a better planet align with yours. When you market a product or company, you need to believe in their work. Part of supporting their work is believing in their values. Selling something that has a positive impact on the planet is a part of sustainable marketing.
4. Invest In Environmentally Friendly Tech
There are many eco-friendly tech options out there. Green-tech products can help support the tools you need to use to do your work. For example, digital marketers need power for their computers. There are many affordable solar options available that you can use to help power your computer. There are even tools like Wemo Smart Plug that let you know when your appliances are using power and how much.
Is Digital Marketing Sustainable?
Since digital marketing is all online, there is less need for physical materials which means you do not need to be sending letters in the mail, instead you can send e-newsletter which reduces your carbon footprint. Although digital marketing has its pluses when it comes to sustainability, it’s not perfect.
Digital marketers need products like computers and servers which are made from materials that are mined. They also use plenty of plastic. Plus, at some point tech becomes out of date. What happens to your old computer when you buy a new one? For the most part, the way computers are disposed of is not environmentally friendly. To host a website, there needs to be a server running at all times, which uses lots of power. Even sending an email hurts the environment because the process releases CO2 into the environment.
As you buy your technology products or choose your hosting service, look for something green. Digital marketing is a fairly sustainable option, but, like anything, there is still plenty of work to be done. Sustainable marketing encompasses everything from where your website is hosted, to what paper you use and clients you work with.
As a certified B Corp, sustainability is a top priority for us. If sustainable marketing appeals to you, click the button below to schedule a 30-minute complimentary digital strategy session!