The UK Government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. They’ve also set an interim target to cut emissions by 78%, relative to 1990 levels, by 2035. It’s a huge undertaking, but as concern about the environment increases, sharing your company’s net zero strategy can boost your marketing.
Net zero means achieving a balance between the carbon emitted into the atmosphere and the carbon removed from it. When working on net zero, businesses consider ways to reduce their emissions. When there’s no more that can be done, they look at offsetting. This is usually through clean energy or nature-based climate change solutions.
The Net Zero Accelerator at The Business Village helps businesses to understand their net zero priorities. Offering free and intensive support, it includes diagnostics, coaching, networking, and training. Those participating develop action plans to help improve their carbon footprint.
One of the training workshops on the programme is ‘Marketing and Net Zero’ delivered by Simon Shepherd of Client Marketing. The workshop shares information and tips to help businesses with their green marketing. It also gives examples of how some well-known brands share their green credentials.
Speaking about the workshop, Amy Lloyd of Better You said “Great opportunity to hear real examples of what businesses are currently using towards their marketing/net zero strategy.”
The business argument for net zero
With the government target in place, working on net zero has become inevitable. So, it makes sense to get a head start while support is available. But there are also some clear business benefits to embarking on a net zero strategy:
- Improved brand image
Working on net zero strategies can improve your brand image and give you a competitive advantage. Consumers are increasingly likely to buy from environmentally conscious businesses.
- Better employee satisfaction
Environmental issues are growing in importance to people, which also translates into who they work for. Being a responsible employer can lead to greater employee satisfaction and increased retention rates.
- Reduced costs and improved productivity
When measuring emissions, you’ll be analysing your business operations and practices. This can identify cost reductions and productivity improvements, leading to long term benefits.
- More resilience to risks
Energy costs are rising, along with the potential of stricter environmental compliance regulations. Working on net zero now can build a more flexible and resilient business.
Ideas of green content when marketing net zero in your business
Fully understanding the different priorities your business is working on for net zero will lead to a clearer marketing strategy. Great content ideas can be found in each of the four areas below:
- Carbon footprint
Carbon footprint covers both direct and indirect emissions. Direct emissions are those through the company’s operations, for example, the manufacturing process. Indirect emissions cover purchasing energy and transportation.
- Carbon tail-print
Carbon tail-print is the emissions consumed by suppliers during the creation of goods and services used. It’s important to consider carbon tail-print when purchasing from suppliers. A good example is using fair trade suppliers or net zero businesses.
- Carbon handprint
Carbon handprint is the reduction of the carbon footprint of others. It can be improved by providing more efficient materials, increasing the lifetime of the product, and reducing waste. This then minimises the carbon footprint of buying and using your products or services.
- Carbon newsprint
This is the communication about climate change to the wider world.
Marketing your green credentials
Working on net zero in your business is great PR and there are many ways to share your green credentials. The best one will depend on your target market and where to find them.
The following ideas will get you started:
- Write about net zero in your annual report
- Have a clear environmental policy
- Share what you’re doing on your website
- Provide regular updates, for example via blog posts
- Celebrate the wins
- Let customers know how they can help
- Talk about the projects you support for carbon offsetting
- Write a press release
- Join discussions in appropriate groups
- Reflect your green credentials in promotional materials
- Ensure your messages are simple, transparent, and authentic
- Talk about why you care
- Train staff to communicate your green messages
- Promote your net zero activities in public areas of your building
- Share on social media
To prevent the worst effects of climate change, the world needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. The UK government target to be net zero by 2050 offers huge potential to businesses.
Some may want to lead on climate change out of principle. Some may wish to avoid the risk of climate change legislation. For others, they may be responding to market opportunities which increase sales and profitability.
Sharing your green credentials can positively change the way customers perceive your brand. There are many marketing tactics to choose from but communicating your net zero actions can bring real benefits. Being proactive will also give you the edge, especially if you’re ahead of your competitors.
Many of the participants on the Marketing and Net Zero workshop agree.
“Very good ideas for marketing. I’ve now got a LinkedIn account and loved all the website tips and tricks, especially the Google alerts.” Vanessa Ely, Sonelli
“Great information provided and well worth the time taken out of the business to attend, thank you.” Ivan, Qualter Hall
Funding for the Net Zero Accelerator at The Business Village comes from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and Barnsley Metropolitan Council.