With sustainability a top-of-mind issue for all businesses, your marketing strategy is one area where you should consider your environmental impact.
ESG risks are present in marketing as they are in other areas of your operations. We’ve previously explored ways you can identify and reduce the ESG impact of your marketing supply chain; here we look at how you can measure the environmental impact of your marketing materials.
What is the environmental impact of marketing materials?
Marketing collateral may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of reducing your organisation’s carbon footprint. But your marketing materials can have a significant impact on your sustainability.
This can be in terms of:
- Paper and ink used for printed materials
- Physical assets such as corporate gifts and event materials
- Processes used to create your marketing materials
- The sustainability of your marketing supply chain
How do you measure and start tackling the environmental impact of your marketing materials?
3 steps to measuring the environmental impact of your marketing materials
- Carry out a materiality assessment. What is a materiality assessment? It’s the process of identifying the ESG issues that most impact your business, and matter most to your stakeholders. At an organisation level, carrying out a materiality assessment will give you a list of key ESG areas to focus on, enabling you to prioritise actions, identify risks and integrate sustainability into your operations. Within your marketing function, it will do the
same, but focused on issues within your marketing team’s control.
- Quantify the current environmental impact of your marketing materials. This will include areas like:
a. Your marketing supply chain; where do you source materials like paper and ink or corporate gifts? How many air miles are involved in supplying your materials?
b. How environmentally friendly are your suppliers? Are they accredited to ESG standards?
c. Do you share marketing materials digitally or in hard copy? What is the impact of printing and disseminating materials?
- Report on your environmental performance. Evidencing existing supply chain performance is vital; it gives you a benchmark and is crucial if you want leadership buy-in to drive improvements.
How to reduce the environmental impact of your marketing materials
Once you have a benchmark for the environmental impact of your marketing materials, move on to identifying how you can reduce it. Some of the things you might want to consider include:
- Do you need to provide corporate gifts and if so, can they be sourced locally?
- Some documents need to be printed for compliance or regulatory reasons. Do they all?
- Are there ways to move from traditional printed materials towards digital alternatives – for example, digital versions of your annual report or digital business cards?
- Where you do have to print marketing collateral, can your suppliers guarantee that your print specifications align with your corporate ESG policy?
- How sustainable is your marketing supply chain? Do you know where your raw materials come from, and can you make them more environmentally friendly?
- How can you evidence existing marketing sustainability?
- Do your marketing platforms enable you to measure the environmental impact of your marketing materials, so you can include the necessary data in your sustainability report?
- Are you able to track improvements in your carbon footprint or energy use in your marketing supply chain?
This last step might uncover an awkward truth: many firms currently have no way of accurately quantifying their sustainability. Are you able to measure the environmental impact of your marketing materials in terms of things like:
- Where do your raw materials come from
- How sustainable is your supply chain
- What is the impact of improvements you make
What solutions can help measure the environmental impact of marketing?
If this is the case for you, you may want to explore the benefits of marketing platforms that can help with environmental impact reporting and management. This type of platform can help you to:
- Evidence existing supply chain ESG performance
- Track the improvements you make in plastic, carbon, and energy performance
- Provide evidence that you are achieving your supply chain ESG objectives
- Help you to implement supply chain ESG initiatives
Enable – a platform to support your marketing ESG strategy
Enable, Perivan’s marketing distribution platform, allows you to automate reporting on the environmental impact of all your marketing assets used globally. The platform creates user-friendly dashboards, so you can share data with stakeholders and evidence progress towards your ESG goals.
As well as supporting your sustainability goals, Enable also delivers a range of non-ESG-related benefits such as:
- Faster production of marketing and communications collateral
- Improved security
- Optimised efficiency via automated processes
- Reduced risk of regulatory compliance breaches
- Improved usability and user-friendliness
Read more about the benefits of Enable, or contact us for a no-obligation demonstration