Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and environmental awareness bring carbon offsetting to the forefront.
Businesses can take this opportunity to make a positive impact to mitigate climate change while boosting marketing campaigns as a side effect.
Carbon offsetting is one way to incorporate these elements into marketing seamlessly. It can have various manifestations, depending on what marketing teams want to execute.
In this post, I’ll explain the importance of carbon offsetting in marketing and share some proven ideas for blending carbon offsetting goals into your marketing plans naturally.
Every person and business has a carbon footprint creating greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to the climate crisis.
Carbon offsetting is one way to reduce or eliminate a company’s negative carbon contribution by reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. The goal is to become net-zero — some go a step further to become net-negative, reducing more carbon than the business produces.
Companies should research and invest time in carbon offsetting for the planet’s betterment and a boosted marketing strategy. Whatever carbon offsetting option a business chooses should align with the company’s industry.
For example, customers may need clarification about why a tech company is planting trees when they should be working on reducing e-waste or investing in carbon-reducing tech startups.
Marketing teams should avoid reckless, persistent messaging of carbon offsetting missions — it should always be organic and optimistic. Otherwise, customers could question if it’s greenwashing.
Eco-awareness in marketing strategies informs customers of a company’s priorities, helping build brand awareness and customer loyalty through shared values.
Luckily, there are many ways marketing teams can implement carbon offset cleverly.
Marketing efforts require more carbon than companies perceive.
The first step is having the marketing team evaluate their carbon footprints. These evidence-based numbers will inform how much they need to reduce.
Consider looking at the carbon footprint and energy consumption regarding:
Discovering these numbers should also consider growth. Will the marketing team or business grow in the future, and how can the carbon offsetting strategy grow with that circumstance? If the carbon offsetting program doesn’t change, the marketing team cannot incorporate it strategically.
After analysis, the marketing team can begin habit shifts that propel more carbon-offsetting undertakings. Reducing power consumption is vital, which means researching alternatives to the aforementioned marketing materials or switching to working from home some or all days of the workweek.
Marketing strategies involve more than what’s inside the office or within digital social media accounts. Every aspect of the marketing team, including travel, emits carbon. Because marketing teams network or go to conferences more than other teams, they can adjust their work dynamic for more video conferencing and work-from-home days to reduce impact.
For marketing teams, carbon offsetting must begin with analysis and reduction before committing to carbon offsetting strategies. It ensures the appropriate execution of the grander plan, and resources go to the most impactful marketing areas.
It makes marketing teams aware of their impact and the diversity of influences on the atmosphere. If they lack self-reflection and awareness of their effect, the public carbon offsetting strategy will be disingenuous.
Now, the marketing team knows how they emit the most carbon and made steps to reduce it within the group. Now, the marketing peripherals can make adjustments.
Marketing teams can switch to less carbon-intensive products, including:
These switches will offset some carbon on top of other initiatives a company may choose. Businesses can invest in carbon-offsetting projects or renewable energy creation and distribution. However, these are the specific items marketing teams have control over.
Working with carbon-neutral companies, choosing digital over physical, and learning more about how digital communications emit carbon will be focal points for most marketing teams.
High-quality videos and photos in marketing emails may be advantageous for branding. However, if a company sends so many emails or social posts that it borderlines spam, all of that media distribution emits carbon. Refine strategies to reduce the frequency of communications and file sizes without reducing campaign effectiveness.
In social media or written digital communications, marketing teams can highlight carbon-offsetting actions they’re taking. Plus, they can accentuate additional projects their company is working with to further carbon reduction efforts on a company level.
Adding snippets about progress and keeping records of the journey on the company website will solidify the business as a forerunner in sustainability.
As new technologies arise, marketing teams will discover more ways to reduce their carbon footprint and offset it by promoting, supporting, and funding initiatives. Reducing carbon footprints is a continuous process — not a one-time project to check off at the end of the day.
The choice to engage with carbon offsetting strategies should always be motivated by the planet’s well-being first. However, marketing teams can take this and create a more wholesome marketing strategy for a well-honed brand image.
It will deepen a company’s relationship with its core values, holding them accountable for the social responsibility goals they set.
Additionally, it can inspire consumers to become more environmentally conscious, creating a cycle of positive change that will one day solidify greener life choices for all.