5 Ways Brands Can Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

Being mindful of digital marketing practices and implementing sustainable resources can make a difference

Brandweek will feature live discussions with marketing pros at ULTA Beauty, Converse, UPS and more. Meet us in Miami Sept. 11–14 to boost your business and elevate your brand.

From forest fires to floods, climate change continues to accelerate. Consumers’ need for environmental commitments from businesses is essential now more than ever.

A 2019 survey by Hotwire states that 47% of global internet users have ditched products and services from brands that violated personal values. Businesses need to rethink their strategies and play their part when it comes to reducing their carbon footprint. The ICT industry alone nearly doubled its global greenhouse gas emissions since 2013, rising from 2.5% to 3.7% of global emissions.

Every business has a carbon footprint, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be reduced. Here are a few ways you can implement sustainable digital marketing practices that will reduce your business’s carbon footprint.

Choose sustainable third-party providers

Third-party providers are often overlooked but have a huge impact on your carbon footprint. When you pay a provider to run your ads on their platform, purchase a subscription to a tool or host your website, you are supporting their practices, whether or not they align with your values.

Before you decide, you should do your research on their mission and environmental impact. Understand what goes on behind their services and ensure how they contribute to your carbon footprint. It can also help to implement an internal CSR policy and create guidelines for selecting responsible service providers.

For companies that have yet transitioned to digital marketing and are still using traditional marketing tools like printed materials, think about choosing providers that offer sustainable materials and use renewable energy.

Turn your website green

There are many ways to make your website or online shop more sustainable, but it all comes down to your choice of server host. Data centers that store, process and distribute data through the internet account for 2% of the world’s carbon emissions. That contribution is equivalent to the airline industry!

There are many servers available like A2 Hosting and GreenGeeks that are powered by environmentally friendly resources. They implement energy-efficient initiatives and renewable energy to host your website, which can also lead to cost savings.

Reduce the size of your videos

Video marketing has become more important over the years but is also one of the biggest polluters. Streaming is responsible for 300 million tons of CO2 emissions annually, a figure that continues to rise.

This is why, when displaying videos on your website or online shop, you should try to reduce its file size before uploading them to your website. Avoid adding autoplay on videos to minimize the amount of power consumption.

Implement sustainable email marketing practices

Emails are typically small in size and require less processing to be displayed. But adding large images and graphics to the email will add “weight” to the email, which will require more storage space and energy to send.

So instead of embedding an image, try to link the image source to a server to reduce the size of the email. That way, the image is downloaded only if recipients open the email, saving processing power and energy on unopened content. The same goes for attachments.

Another way to implement sustainable email marketing is through segmentation. Don’t send an email to your whole subscriber list. Instead, segment active and inactive subscribers and only target the active ones to both reduce your carbon emissions and boost your deliverability.

Plant a tree when you use the web

Did you know that every google search equals 0.2 grams of CO2?

Luckily, there are green alternative search engines like Ecosia that put sustainability first. For each search using Ecosia, a tree will be planted in one of the more than 30 countries they have organizations in.

You can also involve your customers in green initiatives using Review Forest. For every review made on your business, a tree will be planted on behalf of the company. This is a great way to include your customers in your brand’s journey to sustainability.

Being mindful of your digital marketing and being sustainable can benefit your business in the long haul. Aligning your new sustainability value with your business will strengthen your company culture. Employees will be happy knowing that the company they work for is invested in being environmentally friendly. Customers will also take notice of your mission, which will increase trust and reputation in your brand.