Sustainability and Marketing Earth Day & Beyond

Sustainablity, and how to become more sustainable, is something that should be at the forefront of every company's mission right now. Many marketers, who want to promote sustainability and sustainable change, may feel conflicted on how to best approach compaigns and content. 

Greenwashing, for instance, is a major concern. It's crucial for companies to realize that talk, even when poignant, is not enough. Actions needs to be taken year-round, with companies being transparent about goals, processes, and timelines.

Consumers care about how their choices affect the planet; according to BusinessDIT, as mentioned in an ANA article, "81 percent of people throughout the world expect businesses to be environmentally conscious in all of their advertising and marketing activities."

That being said, change is not easy, and long-lasting change often takes a lot of time. For many companies, products and processes may need to be revamped entirely, and built from the ground up. These changes are likely to demand more budget, besides more time; this can be a daunting challenge. As such, marketers will need to shift priorities, budgets, and even revenues to drive change. 

However, Jeff Fromm, author of The Purpose Advantage, doesn't want marketers to think being sustainable also means losing profit; thankfully, it isn't a binary. Fromm stated at an ANA event that profit and sustainability often go together, "The last thing I want you to think is that sustainability forces a company to forgo profits. Nothing could be further from the truth. The best-performing brands have figured out how to make ESG and profit work hand-in-hand."

In addition, Sustainable Brands reported that "products marketed as sustainable, while only making up 16 percent of the market, represent 55 percent of market growth," which illustrates Fromm's point. Of course, regardless of profit, when it comes to saving the planet, every effort counts; there's nothing more important than taking care of our home and the quality of life for all living things. 

Check out the resources below. Learn more at ANA's Society and Sustainability Collective.

  • Spring into Your Marketing Campaigns with Green Tips for Earth Day and Every Day. ANA, April 2023.
    As we approach Earth Day, April 22, 2023, it is a good time to act as businesses, organizations, and consumers to maximize our limited resources, reduce our carbon footprint, and build trust in our industry as one that respects the environment. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the impact that companies are having on the environment.

    In fact, 81 percent of people throughout the world expect businesses to be environmentally conscious in all their advertising and marketing activities. Companies and organizations need to prioritize sustainability in their advertising. But it's not enough to simply talk about being green, you need to be able to back up environmental goals and aspirations with concrete actions.

  • The Best Marketing Ideas On Earth Day. PageFly, March 2023.
    Earth Day marketing is more than just a trend. It's a way for businesses to showcase their commitment to the environment, and it's also an opportunity to connect with customers who care about sustainability. In today's world, consumers are becoming more conscious of their impact on the environment, and they want to support businesses that share their values.

    According to a report by Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by WWF, searches related to sustainable products have increased by an amazing and continuous 71 percent over the past 5 years, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. That's enough to show how customers are aware of this event and how potential it is for businesses.

    Earth Day marketing is an excellent way for businesses to show their support for the environment, and it can help them build a strong relationship with their customers. Here PageFly explores some ways marketers can take advantage of this holiday and provides lucrative Earth Day marketing campaign ideas.

  • Brands and Retailers Look to Earth Day to Boost their Eco Credentials. eMarketer, April 2022.
    Several well-known brands launched initiatives in honor of Earth Day and reflected the trend that consumers seemingly care more about sustainability than ever before. Brands and retailers are using a variety of tactics, from advertising campaigns highlighting recycling initiatives to new resale programs, to showcase their commitments to sustainability. Indicators suggest consumers want to see brands taking specific action as opposed to generic support of sustainability.

    However, in many cases, true sustainability is at odds with companies' goals to sell more goods to consumers. As consumers get savvier about what it means to live a fully eco-friendly lifestyle, brands will have to truly commit to circularity and sustainability throughout their supply chain to win their loyalty. Instead of showcasing their dedication to improving the environment every April, brands and retailers will have to reiterate their green bona fides year-round.

  • Earth Day 2022 Recap: Top Brands Turn to Transparency. Comperemedia, May 2022.
    As consumers grow wary of greenwashing, it is more important than ever for brands to be transparent with their sustainability efforts. Brands that provided data to support their sustainability initiatives were able to mitigate skepticism and educate consumers. Brands can outsource their reputations about sustainability by partnering with established environmental organizations.

    Brands that engaged in meaningful partnerships were rewarded with consumer trust. Although planting trees to offset carbon emissions carries a positive sentiment, consumers are becoming aware that more is needed from large corporations to enact real change. Brands that took this idea to heart created the most meaningful Earth Day campaigns. Comperemedia looks at how brands adopted transparency to legitimize their Earth Day 2022 initiatives.

  • Earth Day 2022: Initiatives from Brands that Stood Out. The Drum, April 2022.
    For over 50 years people have used April 22 to celebrate Earth Day and demonstrate support for environmental protection. People are starkly aware of the dangers of climate change and the extreme measures that need to be taken to maintain our way of life. 2022's 'Invest In Our Planet' theme asked all to make the urgent necessary changes to protect our world. It calls on governments, businesses, and citizens to act boldly and innovatively to create a partnership for the planet. Here, The Drum looks at 10 of the best campaigns from brands, artists, and activists. An example from Just Egg:

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The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Futures Pulse are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

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