Almost regardless of where you look, you will see examples of businesses and industries that are striving to work in more environmentally friendly ways. Consumer pressure, legislation, and a realization that everyone needs to pull together to literally save the planet have combined to prompt business leaders to speed up the rate of change. To the point where whole sectors are radically shaking up the way they work.
That includes the marketing industry. Here are just a few examples of the steps marketing businesses are taking.
A general overview of the green strategies marketing firms are using
Most marketing firms are working hard to make their operations net zero. They are doing everything most other physical businesses are doing including:
- Reducing the consumption of energy and materials
- Sourcing their energy and materials from green sources
- Switching to using electric vehicles
- Reducing employee commutes by allowing more people to work from home
The world´s biggest marketing agency to be net-zero by 2025
Take, as an example, WPP plc, which is the world´s biggest advertising agency. They have a target of reaching net-zero for their operations by 2025 and making their supply chain net-zero by 2030. They know that these are realistic targets because they have been actively working to reduce their carbon footprint since 2006.
Developing eco-friendly advertising materials
The industry is acutely aware of the fact that a lot of materials and energy are used to produce and deliver advertising. Unfortunately, there is no way of reducing what is used to zero. But there are ways of making sure that the materials used are as environmentally friendly as possible. As well as, as much as possible, reusable or, failing that, recyclable.
Eco-friendly digital signage
Take for example digital signage. An advertising medium that is becoming far more widely used. It is becoming increasingly easy for shops, clinics, bars, restaurants, and other businesses to source eco-friendly digital signage. The amount of power that the screens consume has dropped drastically and is still dropping as new technologies are being developed. If the business is using a green energy source the impact of running the screens is surprisingly low.
Solar-powered digital display advertising
It is also now possible to buy digital display screens that are solar-powered. An option that is proving to be particularly popular with billboard companies. They find that the higher purchase price is covered quickly by the fact that they do not have to pay anything to run their screens. Billboard firms can change what is displayed on them remotely. Providing the chance for them to serve more clients at a time from that billboard, which makes them more money.
Creating less landfill waste
The fact that the content displayed on solar-powered digital billboards and screens can be changed remotely also contributes to their green credentials. Most billboard posters cannot be recycled. It is difficult to strip them off the board. Plus, even if you can remove them the gloss finish and chemicals used in the inks and glue mean that they cannot be safely recycled. So, they just end up in landfill. Digital display screens eliminate the need for paper, card, or plastic posters and banners, which does away with all that potential pollution.
Using equipment that is made from recycled materials
As well as being designed to consume less power or to be solar-powered, digital display screens are increasingly being made from recycled materials. A great example of this is the Phillips 24-inch 1B7QGJEB screen, which uses recycled plastics and metal. Phillips has also made sure that it does not contain substances like halogen, lead, or mercury.
Switching to using advertising materials that can be recycled
Perhaps more importantly, when it is no longer possible to repair the screen, everything that is in it can itself be recycled. Marketing firms are encouraging their clients to use this type of display screen technology. For example, by providing them to bars, cafes, restaurants, shops, and clinics that hire digital display screens from them.
Where there is no alternative but to use paper advertising, greener alternatives to traditional posters and banners are starting to be offered. For example, posters that are printed on recycled paper, using inks that contain fewer chemicals and which are designed so that they can easily be peeled off and recycled.
The above is just a taste of what the advertising industry is doing to go green. Thousands have already signed up to be a part of the Advertising Associations Ad Net Zero initiative. By joining forces, the sector is learning from each other enabling them to move even faster towards a more sustainable future.