At the Leaders Summit on Climate (held virtually on April 22nd and 23rd, 2021), President Biden and 40 other world leaders discussed how to tackle the global climate crisis. President Biden declared, "The US isn't waiting, we are resolving to take action," and pledged to cut America’s carbon emissions by as much as 52% by 2030.
Other notable climate pledges according to the White House’s summary of proceedings included:
- ‘The United Kingdom will embed in law a 78% GHG reduction below 1990 levels by 2035.’
- ‘The European Union is putting into law a target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and a net-zero target by 2050.’
- ‘Japan will cut emissions 46-50% below 2013 levels by 2030, with strong efforts toward achieving a 50% reduction, a significant acceleration from its existing 26% reduction goal.’
With the increased push by World Leaders toward reducing global carbon emissions, business owners and entrepreneurs will undoubtedly need to follow suit. While there are many ways to be greener in business, my expertise lay in marketing.
So here are some eco-friendly marketing methods for entrepreneurs because business growth and sustainability can go hand in hand.
“...roughly 90 percent of the world’s resources – which include the metals, plastics, wood, concrete, chemicals and all other materials in circulation – are used in a single product before becoming waste. This waste represents an enormous pool of resources that can be exploited with minimal impact on the environment.”
By getting circular, I mean embracing the circular economy, baby! For context, here’s an overview of how the traditional, aka Linear Economy, works:
Most businesses have leveled up into the Recycling Economy, which adds a ‘recycle’ stage between ‘make’ and ‘consume.’
However, the circular economy goes even further, adding the stages ‘repair’ and ‘reuse’ in addition to ‘recycle,’ and aims to avoid ‘waste’ completely, thus circling straight back to ‘make’:
The circular economy model first reduces consumption and then salvages/repurposes natural resources and other materials as much as possible.
Getting Circular With Your Marketing
If you sell a physical product that requires packaging try purchasing recycled materials and brand them up by hand with reusable gift tags made using recycled cardboard. For example, you could reuse glass jars or bottles and attach a branded and eco-friendly tag to them using string.
Not only is this an eco-friendly packaging alternative, but it also adds a personal and hand-made feel to your products. To go fully circular, follow in Lush’s footsteps with a recycling scheme. Offer money-off incentives for customers who return suitable packaging for reuse. You could provide additional rewards to those who bring back packaging and branded tags.
Business marketing used to rely heavily on traditional print-based advertising methods. But in the modern business landscape, you can generally find most* of your target audience online. Meaning you can use digital marketing methods (that avoid printing leaflets and business cards that typically end up in the waste bin) to reach them.
If your products or services benefit an older demographic, an advert in the local paper every so often is still a good idea.
The takeaway: to reduce consumption and avoid waste, go digital with your advertising where possible.
Getting Digital With Your Marketing
Instead of printing reams of physical leaflets or business cards, try downloading your DIY designs as digital files or asking your Graphic Designer to provide them digitally. You can then email your digital resources to prospective customers or distribute them via social media.
If you’re taking a DIY approach, try a free online design software like Canva. Canva has a multitude of pre-designed templates for various marketing needs like; sized templates for different social media platforms, leaflets, and menus, to name a few.
You can customize these templates by adding your business information, logo, and other branding elements. And then download them as an image file (PNG or JPEG) to distribute digitally.
To get ahead of the sustainability curve (and inevitable regulations), get circular, and get digital with your business marketing efforts.
P.S. Thanks so much for spending some of your precious time perusing my article. If you have a little more time, check out my previous entry full of free digital marketing resources for entrepreneurs.
Also published on Medium.