Reducing your carbon footprint is not just about doing the right thing for the planet; it's about doing the right thing for your business. Besides reducing operational costs there are other ways it will improve your bottom line.
Consumers are changing. When it comes to the environment, most consumers care, or at least want to know that they are not doing harm, so they're paying much more attention to whom they buy from. You and your competition will be judged on your environmental track record and consumers will vote with their wallets by purchasing from the company with a clear plan to reduce carbon emissions.
A good marketing strategy today is to tell your story. Consumers don’t want a sales pitch or catchy marketing slogan - they want to know the kind of people they’re dealing with, what values lie at the core of your business, and what efforts you are making to protect the environment. They want to know your story.
The story starts at the beginning. Consumers want to know that you have recognized the need for change and are taking responsibility for your business activities. So tell them the truth. Tell them what your carbon footprint is (or was) and describe what actions you intend to take to reduce it and over what period of time. Then tell them of your progress, including the hiccups along the way. But whatever you do, don’t “greenwash” – always be authentic. If you exaggerate or misrepresent any of your actions, your customers will feel deceived and will not want to deal with a company that is engaged in “greenwashing” – whether it’s intentional or otherwise.
There are different types of consumers out there – each responds differently to varying marketing messages and media. Look carefully at your current customers as well as your ideal target market, to determine what motivates them in their purchasing behavior, and ensure that you communicate to them in a way that they can relate to and be drawn by.
Five tips to marketing your green efforts:
Know your customers
If they are fairly "green" themselves, then your story needs to featured on your home page. If they are not, then post your story in your About Us section of your website – but make sure it's easy to find.
Keep it simple
You can’t do everything right away, so be specific about what you are doing. Make sure your story is clear and easy to understand.
Tell the truth
Don't greenwash. Be authentic. Be transparent.
Make your current customers feel good about their experience with you and they will tell others. Help your customers to do things differently.
Your carbon reduction strategy is like a journey. It should be ongoing, your targets evolving over time. So your story will have a beginning, and a middle, but hopefully will never end. Tell your story everywhere all the time. Keep your customers up to date.