Adam T. Sutton

Back Up Your Green Messages by Flexing Your Muscle

November 5th, 2008

Here is my second post on how you can help back up your green marketing message by lowering the carbon footprint of your company. Tips were provided by Tim Sanders, Author, Saving the World At Work: What Companies and Individuals Can Do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making a Difference.

This post suggests ways to get your business partners to follow your lead and how to cut your shipping emissions.

You can only reduce your carbon emissions to a point. After that, you have to influence others to continue to reduce your impact on the planet. Some companies have calculated the emissions reductions they’ve convinced others to take and realized that it’s more than offset their company’s total carbon footprint, Sanders says. Technically, they’re operating at zero emissions.

-> Suppliers and media providers

If you’re a major advertiser at a publication, or a major account for a supplier, you can leverage your relationship to encourage them to go green.

Tell the magazine you’re thinking of moving your account to a magazine published on recycled paper. Tell the shipping company you’re considering switching to a competitor who uses a truck idling system that cuts down on emissions. You might help push them into green efforts.

-> Choose partners carefully

You can also choose to work with greener companies in the future. This will prevent straining any current relationships and will help support your company’s green claims.

Although, not related to printing, overnight shipping is integral to the PR industry. PR reps often have “overnight syndrome,” Sanders says. If you’ve got the disease, curing it can go a long way toward making your company greener.

“An overnight shipped package has 12 times the environmental impact of a ground-shipped package,” Sander says. “If you can’t reduce your overnight shipping by 80%, you need to take a time management course.”

Talk the walk: If your company is making genuine efforts to have a smaller impact on the environment, publicize it. It will make your customers feel better about choosing your brand, may attract new customers and you can influence others to follow in your footsteps.

Do not be afraid of activists’ charges of green washing. The best way to avoid a controversy is to always be straightforward and truthful in your claims. If you’re making a genuine effort, explain it without overstating it.

Adam T. Sutton

About Adam T. Sutton

Adam T. Sutton, Senior Reporter, MarketingSherpa
Adam generates content for MarketingSherpa's Email and Inbound Marketing newsletters. His years of experience in interviewing marketers and conveying their insights has spanned topics such as search marketing, social media marketing, ecommerce, email and more. Adam previously powered the content behind MarketingSherpa's Search and Consumer-marketing newsletters and carries that experience into his new role. Today, in addition to writing articles, he contributes content to the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa blogs, as well as MECLABS webinars, workshops and summits.

Prior to joining MarketingSherpa, Adam was the Managing Editor at the Mequoda group. There he created content and promotions for the company's daily email newsletter and managed its schedule.

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