How Marketers Can Contribute To Their Company’s Sustainability Goals

By Gareth Holmes, VP EMEA and APAC for SeenThis

“There must be a better way to make the things we want, a way that doesn’t spoil the sky, or the rain or the land” ~ Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney sums up the challenge with evolving a business mindset to a more sustainable path and many companies struggle with this aspect -how to become sustainable, without damaging the bottom line of the company.

A lot of people across the organization want to be a part of their business’s sustainability movement. While many companies have large sustainability goals at the infrastructure level, people in other departments such as marketing wonder what more can be done beyond recycling, and turning off lights?

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There are some simple things we can all do within the Advertising sphere which are simple to implement and have material impact of energy usage, such as:

Extend Sustainable Office Concepts to the Home

Many if not all businesses have people with multiple screens and often devices left in the office overnight, these contribute to what is called vampire-energy; small amounts of energy consumption, however, when aggregated across many devices this is not an insignificant amount which can be saved easily by changing the settings on computers. With more people working from home, companies can also ask employees to install software that can make their machines use less energy.

Everyone can also join in on initiatives at the office and at home that are proven to help reduce their carbon footprint. While recycling is widespread, composting food is actually a much more effective way to reduce emissions. Many large cities have composting programs where someone can come and pick up food waste, making it easy to do good.

Many workplaces in the UK have heating above 22C which means there is wastage, and probable uncomfort of teams. In the US where air conditioning is popular, there is also a problem with extremely cold offices, which also wastes energy. The standard AC temperature was decided when offices were mostly men in full wool suits, a scenario that is no longer common.

In the US, OSHA actually recommends that temperatures remain between 68 and 76 degrees F, which can help resolve disputes. Departments can be vocal about wanting to remain in this range, and to reduce reliance on heating and cooling systems, working to use clothing, windows and even locating to better designed buildings to be more sustainable.

Even better, marketing and advertising departments can be deliberate about having all of their workers, even at-home workers consider their ability to save energy by changing the temperature. When at home, employees should be encouraged to choose a hoodie over a change to the thermostat. And of course, opening windows and working outside allows nature to heat and cool, the most sustainable choice of all.

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Advocate for More Sustainable Marketing

For marketing teams that are far removed from product development, supply chain logistics or infrastructure decisions, there are still real opportunities to contribute to their company’s sustainability. The internet is actually responsible for 2% of global emissions, equal to the airline industry. As so much of marketing is digital today, this is a good place to make a big impact.

Supply-path optimization in media buying provides an opportunity to reduce data waste. Many media buyers buy across multiple platforms and often unwittingly duplicate large portions of audiences targeted when the incremental consumer reach is often negligible, or synchronising numerous data-sets when the probability of upside is marginal at best, to understand if the user is a match to their campaign. By deduplicating supply sources, data and energy consumption can be reduced. Companies such as Scope3 and Glimpse Protocol offer services and technology solutions to assist with this effort.

Marketers can also be more deliberate about the technology partners that media planners and buyers are choosing who to run campaigns with. There are advanced ways to deliver advertising which minimises data and energy usage. For example, companies using adaptive streaming as a technological foundation for the delivery of images and video advertising enable the opportunity to transfer substantially less data than more traditional image loading practices such as download and MP4-based technologies. Similarly, it’s possible to use more streamlined algorithms for search that reduce data use.

The best place to start to incorporate a new sustainable epoch within your business is to get people talking. Create a forum for your teams to bring their initiatives to the table; most people do things in their personal lives for the betterment of the environment, invite people to share what they are doing at home which they feel can be done in the office. Talk to partners to understand what changes can be made.

Many of us leave our ownership at the front door when we enter the office and a great place for a business to start is to ask people to share, become part of the solution and become a contributor to a company’s new environmentally-tuned epoch.

 

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