Making your marketing more sustainable makes sense in a world where corporate social responsibility (CSR) takes centre stage.
Increasingly, businesses of all sizes are choosing more environmentally sustainable marketing methods to be kinder to our planet.
The numbers speak for themselves:
34% of consumers say they have actively chosen brands with environmentally sustainable practices/values. (Deloitte, 2020)
Nearly 1 in 3 consumers have claimed to stop purchasing from certain brands because they had ethical concerns about them. (Deloittle, 2020)
88% of consumers said they would be more loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues. (Forbes, 2018)
To help you ensure your business is more sustainable, here are a few of our favourite eco-friendly marketing examples:
1. Re-think your promotional products
The good news is that many promotional merchandise suppliers (like us) have now diversified to produce many eco-friendly branded merchandise alternatives. These sustainable promotional products go beyond simply getting your brand name out there and are items that your prospects will use time and time again.
These green promotional products include:
Recycled cotton tote bags.
Eco-friendly ball pens made from renewable resources.
Eco water bottles made from PET scraps.
Cotton notebooks filled with recycled paper.
Reusable coffee cups.
2. Greener mailings
Direct mail is still a great way to get your brand into the hands of your target audience. But is using all that paper sustainable?
The simple answer is yes! Many sustainable advertising mail options can help you ensure your mailings are kinder to the planet.
These eco-friendly advertising mail options include:
Printing your communications onto sustainable paper. This is a paper that has been produced in an environmentally sustainable way, supporting the management of forests.
Printing on both sides of your sustainable direct mail postcards.
If you use plastic coverings for your mail advertisements, look for wraps that are clearly labelled as being biodegradable.
Use the correct envelopes – recycled envelopes and envelopes without plastic windows will ensure your communications are better for the environment.
Ensure your direct mail is targeted and regularly maintain your list to reduce print overruns.
3. Create a long-term sustainable marketing plan
Taking measurements to ensure sustainability in your marketing is all well and good, but if your activity is not sustained you may be accused of greenwashing.
Greenwashing makes people believe your company is doing more to protect the environment than it is.
To avoid this your business will need to consider how sustainability can be integrated into your long-term marketing plan.
A brilliant sustainable marketing plan needs to be consistent. After all, it is unlikely that the environmental issues we currently face will be going away any time soon.
Some great ways to implement sustainable practices into your small business’ marketing plan include:
Committing to only packing orders with 100% recyclable product packaging.
Using sustainable delivery methods for all of your orders.
Donating a percentage of your proceeds to environmental organisations every year.
Starting a promotion such as planting a tree for every 20 orders.
Obtaining a green business certification.
Encourage your employees to buy into a greener mindset through incentives and actively advertising this across your online platforms.
4. Eco-Friendly packaging
According to research by YouGov, 8 in 10 consumers are trying to reduce their plastic waste and, over half would be willing to pay higher prices for eco-friendly packaging.
The issue with 'normal' packaging is that plastics can often end up in landfill or the ocean and have a manufacturing process that can be harmful to the environment.
Switching to biodegradable and sustainable packaging is not only safe, healthy and beneficial for individuals throughout its life cycle but is also great for improving your businesses eco-credentials.
5. Partner with an environmentally conscious printer
One of the biggest myths surrounding the printing industry is that print is not sustainable. However, this couldn't further from the truth. As the demand for sustainability has amplified over the past decade, many printers (like us) have taken steps to reduce the impact of print on the environment.
These steps include printing your marketing materials on sustainable paper, using plant-based inks in their printing, introducing new digital printing techniques to produce less waste, and offsetting their carbon production through initiatives like The Woodland Trust Carbon Capture Scheme.
Who you work with reflects on you and your business. By switching to greener print you can help boost your business' green credentials by ensuring eco-friendly processes are implemented throughout your organisation and its supply chain.
6. Switch up your loyalty schemes.
It’s no secret that loyalty schemes are great for encouraging repeat custom.
But, have you considered using yours to boost your companies' eco-credentials? Instead of "free cup of coffee for every 10 coffees you buy", why not try "we’ll plant a tree for every 10 coffees you buy".
It’s a great way to demonstrate to your customers that you’re doing your bit to help the environment, and it gets them involved too!
7. Embrace e-commerce
If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that your business needs to be online.
If you have a physical store, you could start selling your products online, or if you host in-person events, why not run some of them online?
Not only will this allow you to reach a much wider audience, but it will also help you reduce your business's impact on the environment by cutting down the need for transportation.
Will you make the switch to eco-friendly marketing?
Switching to sustainable marketing methods can do the world of good for improving your business's corporate social responsibility and helping to protect the environment.
This World Environment Day 2021, why not pledge to make at least one change to the way you market your business. After all, every eco-friendly advertising choice you make can have a big impact on our environment for years to come.
Find out more
At Soar Valley Press, we’re big advocates for sustainable printing. Printing onto sustainable paper, using plant-based inks and making all local deliveries using our entirely electric vehicle fleet are just some of the ways we aim to make a difference.
If you would like to find out more about our environmentally friendly printing services or are looking for more sustainable marketing advice, don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 0116 259 9955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.