These days greening campaigns (drives to reduce corporate carbon footprints) are not uncommon. Some very big names have gone down this route. Deutsche Bank’s Frankfurt office estimates that they have saved more than 50% on their electricity consumption and more than 65% on heating energy. Coca-Cola, Sony Electronics and The Bank of America are amongst those taking active steps to cut down their environmental impacts. So are countless small and medium-sized businesses.
Saving energy saves money. And it’s good for the environment. Those are two very good reasons to get involved. The third is marketing.
Projecting an environmentally friendly image is increasingly important. A 2012 Nielsen report showed that upwards of 70% of consumers are more likely to buy from companies they view as socially responsible. If the same numbers apply to shareholders it’s easy to see why large companies are really putting the effort in. But you don’t have to be the size of Sony or the Bank of America to get marketing value from a greening campaign. Here are six ways your good work can be transformed into a non-environmental benefit:
- Press releases and online case studies. Collect the numbers. Figure out how much your company has saved, both financially and in carbon or waste terms. Then get in touch with green-interest websites, news services and online business hubs. Your article will be able to reach places a more promotional piece would never be accepted.
- Speak at a conference. Make a conference presentation on what you’ve done and how other companies can follow in your footsteps. This is a great way to gain personal and corporate respect as a thought leader.
- Give updates through social media. Share the story of your greening campaign right from inception. Let your social followers know that you’re a responsible, forward-thinking organization. Use the story to reach out to new people. Start conversations by asking for ideas and feedback.
- Set yourself apart at trade shows. Trade shows create around 600,000 tons of garbage per year. Use recycled materials, distribute hefty catalogues on a USB memory stick instead of on paper, and make your goody bags reusable cloth instead of plastic. And let everyone who visits your stall know why. Your company will look great and people who see your approach might just think twice about what they see on a competitor’s stall.
- Include environmental goals in annual reports. Significant energy savings can almost always be made, particularly if your company hasn’t been thinking deeply about this kind of issue before. Something as simple as switching off computers at night can generate a measurable percentage drop in quarterly energy bills. That’s one positive talking point for your annual report taken care of.
- Ambitious? Champion a greening campaign. Although more companies are working to reduce their impacts, there are still many that aren’t. If your employer falls into that category it’s time to be pro-active. Impress management with a good cost-benefit analysis and show them how reducing impacts could be great for PR and marketing efforts. This way you can show that you’re thinking beyond everyday tasks and that you’re able to handle a project from start to finish.