After all the energy audits and establishing sustainable business strategies have been done, don’t forget to include your marketing efforts in your sustainability plan. Marketing managers are looking to use the company's strategies, results, and achievements around sustainability to communicate and optimize stakeholder engagement. Doesn't it make sense to green your marketing?
Why do it?
- Saves money.
- Reduces your environmental impact.
- Demonstrates sustainability values to prospects, customers, suppliers, and employees.
- It is a means of increasing stakeholder engagement around sustainability concepts your business is embracing.
The next question is - How do it? Enjoy these green marketing tips for your business:
- Become familiar with the FTC Green Guides. This will help marketers avoid making misleading environmental claims.
- Print all marketing materials on recycled paper.
- Hold your meetings remotely. As you meet with your colleagues, including external vendors, try to hold as many meetings as possible over the Internet. Try tools like Skype and other free videoconferencing technologies.
- Send email instead of paper newsletters.
- If you’re going to use paper flyers, make sure you clearly indicate that they are recyclable.
- Buy marketing materials locally. This will minimize the shipping costs both to your business and to the environment.
- Use GreenSeal.org products in your marketing efforts. In Green Seal‘s own words, Green Seal uses “life cycle-based sustainability standards for products, services and companies and offer[s] third-party certification for those that meet the criteria.” They’ve done the sourcing. All you have to do is choose from the products they’ve already certified.
- Use social media to market online. Are you a small or mid-sized business marketer? Do you own or promote a green business? There is a free guide can help you kick start a successful social media program and generate easy social media success. Download it here.
- Buy promotional products that directly encourage green behavior. For example, instead of buying branded bottled water in disposable bottles – a growing trend – order branded reusable coffee mugs or branded reusable water bottles.
- Visit TheGreenOffice.com. TheGreenOffice.com is an ecommerce website that allows you to purchase all types of green-certified office products, many of which you’ll need for nearly any form of offline marketing.
- Use energy efficient transportation for marketing-related travel. Traveling to trade shows? Use a car that gets great gas mileage.
- Get your products listed on GreenSeal.org and GoodGuide.com. GreenSeal.org and GoodGuide.com are great ways to get your eco-friendly products in front of people who are buying with green wallets.
- Use shredded scrap paper to ship promotional products. When shipping breakable marketing materials (i.e. promotional mugs, etc.), use your scrap paper as packing materials – just be sure to run all scrap paper through a shredder first. For even more sustainable packaging ideas, visit SustainablePackaging.org.
- Print in an environmentally friendly way. Printing is terrible for the environment, but if you’ve already determined that it’s an absolutely necessary component of your marketing plan, then make sure you’re printing in a way that minimizes its effects on the environment. GreenerPrinter.com is a good place to start.
- List your website in a variety of green directories. While this alone isn’t a green activity, it does two things: (1) It helps you attract green-conscious customers and (2) being listed in legitimate, useful directories helps advance your search engine optimization efforts, which is one of the greenest marketing methods available.