Sustainable digital marketing: passing trend or here to stay?
You may be thinking what does sustainability have to do with digital marketing? Which in that case this blog is for you; becoming sustainable should be incorporated in both our personal lives and business. The question we need to be asking ourselves and brands around us, is why have we not implemented a plan to becoming more environmentally friendly?
It is becoming more apparent that brands need to be transparent with their audience when it comes to all corporate behaviour. This includes the wellbeing of their staff, all purchasing decisions, energy consumption, business travel, and their wastage. 73% of UK consumers want to be more sustainable, and to do so they need to know if brands are aligning with their personal values before making any purchases. Digital marketing is a great way of opening the lines of communication, attracting, and retaining the conscious consumer.
Let’s define sustainability:
In 1987 the UN defined sustainability as: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. This can be split into three fundamental pillars (SEE):
- Social – based around the wellbeing of a community and organisation
- Environmental – related to the natural world around us
- Economic – in terms of profitability
So, what is sustainable digital marketing?
Implementing sustainability into your digital marketing strategy requires a focus on how your businesses presents themselves to your audience, your contribution to achieving a sustainable society, and what morals and ethics you hold inhouse.
Looking back at the three pillars of sustainability we can see how each of these would apply to a digital marketing strategy:
- Social – promoting products and services that respect the environment and communities around them, as well as doing so in a way that abides by this
- Environmental – being cautious of your carbon footprint and working on ways to reducing it
- Economic – creating a profitable business through ways that add value to the community and environment without causing it harm
Why is it important to be a sustainable business?
With an increase in remote working due to the pandemic and organisations introducing hybrid working as lockdown begins to lift, it’s important to note that although we may think we are reducing our carbon footprint as a result of limited travel, our carbon emissions have seen a rise elsewhere; just 1 hour spent on teleconferencing platforms such as zoom can emit up to 1,000 grams of carbon dioxide which uses around 12 litres of water. To put this into perspective Zoom has 300 million daily users as of March 2021, and it is estimated that the average worker spends around 12 hours per week in meetings!
“The increase in internet use alone over the past year may require a forest of around 71,600 square miles to sequester the emitted carbon” a recent study by Science Daily suggests, that is the equivalent of travelling to Antarctica from the UK almost 7 times.
Why is being a sustainable business is good for your brand?
The number 1 benefit is that you will be helping to the save planet, but if that’s not reason enough here are 3 ways that becoming sustainable will help your business:
- Profitability – by looking at the different processes you have in place and overall business consumption, you can make the switch to greener resources and change the way you do things to increase efficiency. This will reduce wastage, save time, and therefore raise your profits.
- Competitive advantage – the UK government is on a mission to be net zero by 2050. By striving to become net zero as soon as possible you will be able to position yourself as a leader in sustainability against your competition and be fully prepared for all requirements and future tax reports.
- Brand reputation – people are growing more concerned with the world around them and want to know that the brands they purchase from are acting on this. The implications of doing nothing will cause a loss of sales, damage to your brand and an unhappy audience.
3 simple ways you can become more sustainable today:
- Video calls – when working from home this can be unavoidable but there are two simple things you can do: firstly, instead of having an hour call try and cut it down to 30 minutes, that way you will be contributing to saving half of the forests. Secondly, by not turning your camera on you can reduce your carbon footprint by a whopping 96%!
- Emails – on average 121 emails are sent to an office worker each day, this could be a mixture of spam, regular and emails with images or attachments. Although the carbon emitted isn’t huge for regular emails, emails with attachments can emit up to 50g of co2! So, think twice before sending an email that could be classed as unnecessary.
- IT Equipment – recycling your old laptops and other devices comes with many benefits, and did you know that 98% of your computer can be recycled? One of the main advantages is you will be preventing toxic waste from entering the air and our water. The chemical toxins released, such as mercury and lead, have been known to cause harmful damage to our heart and lungs. Therefore, recycling these devices will contribute to protecting our wildlife and ourselves.
Sustainability should not be viewed as a trend, but a significant element of every organisation and everyone’s lives. Incorporating the above ideas into your business strategies, as well as looking at what you can do individually will reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to saving the planet. Something as simple as driving 180 less miles would make the UK 6.8 million tonnes of carbon lighter.
Here at Tweak, we believe that becoming sustainable is no longer an option, it’s a necessity in order to save our planet and our legacy.