As each Earth Day passes, the climate and environmental crises worsen. Despite global lockdowns slowing greenhouse gas emissions, the atmospheric levels of planet-heating CO2 continue to rise, leading to detrimental effects including extreme weather patterns and species extinction. This is in addition to the destruction caused by modern mass consumption which has caused a 68% decline in animal population sizes since 1970.
At Incubeta we’re committed to making sustainability an inherent part of who we are. We aim to help develop awareness for our company, people and within the wider industry so we can all grow in our sustainability journeys and make a positive impact. People are becoming increasingly aware of environmental issues and are more attentive about how their individual consumption contributes. This positive shift means conscious consumption is on the rise and shoppers are demanding sustainable action from brands with 6 in 10 consumers willing to alter shopping habits to reduce their environmental impact, and 71% willing to pay a premium for brands that indicate traceability.
The Impact of Digital Marketing
Over the past year, with stores forced to close due to lockdowns and stay-at-home policies, the shift to online has been significant. Digital has become increasingly important for consumers and consequently for businesses, with digital marketing spend growing by 12% in 2020 year over year whilst traditional media advertising spend continues to shrink. Whilst the accelerated shift towards digital, away from traditional print media has had positive environmental impacts – such as reduced material extraction, transportation and waste – digital is not without its negative contributions.
The environmental impacts of digital marketing are often overlooked due to their invisible nature but each online action, from an internet search to sending an email, comes with an associated cost. This associated cost, often known as digital carbon, is carbon dioxide, emitted due to the energy required to not only power your devices but power the massively energy-demanding physical data centres and internet servers across the globe that make our digital activities possible.
Digital technologies are crucial for economic and social development therefore the impact that industries, like digital marketing, have on the environment must be considered for a sustainable future.
Reducing Your Environmental Impact
While the reduction of digital outputs is unrealistic in our growing digital-centric society, sustainable changes can be implemented. You might not have control over whether data centres and internet servers are utilizing fossil fuels or renewable energy, but you can be particular in your selection of service providers and prioritize those with sustainability at the fore-front who offer the greatest energy efficiency. There are also actions you can take closer to home to help mitigate these contributions. Consider the utilization of renewable energy sources for your businesses and not fossil fuels. Incubeta’s home, The Bower, is powered completely by renewable energy; a positive action that makes our business greener and more sustainable.
Within digital marketing, internet searching is another key focus area to reduce your environmental impact. With every internet search that your activity attracts you can estimate the amount of carbon emitted and consequently offset this carbon through projects designed to remove carbon from the atmosphere; an offering we have started providing to our clients.
Another simple consideration is equipment usage. The manufacturing and transporting of electronic devices has a considerable impact on the environment and on greenhouse gas emissions due to the mining of raw materials and manufacturing processes. Upgrading your equipment less often helps mitigate these issues and even increasing a computer and monitor lifetime from 4 to 6 years could save around 190kg of carbon emissions. And at the end of their life remember to dispose of electronics safely. Electronic pollution, caused by discarded electronics, can lead to adverse human health effects and damaging environmental pollution.
The Longevity of Sustainability
The implementation and achievement of long term sustainability goals for businesses is crucial to help mitigate our overall impact on the environment. The current buzz around sustainability may hasten some businesses to implement quick fixes. However, it is important to view this issue as a long term strategy not as a current trend that can be achieved with superficial changes to appease customers in the now.
Sustainability issues will continue to grow in importance and immediacy so the changes businesses make today will determine how they perform in the future. Developing robust sustainability strategies now will help drive success long term and ensure we’re consistent and continually improving our sustainability stance.
Sustainability strategies must also be transparent. As greenwashing becomes increasingly prevalent, transparency is key to earn trust from customers and differentiate from ingenuine actions. Genuine sustainability will not only help the environment and the planet but will also lead to success for your brand as consumers and businesses become more aware and selective about the firms and suppliers they buy from.
The Incubeta Approach
At Incubeta we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and making sustainability an inherent part of our business. Our aim is to help our company, clients and wider industry develop their awareness and grow in their sustainability journeys. Our appointed Sustainability Committee helps ensure we are delivering on our commitments, communicating our knowledge to the business and always improving our sustainability stance by continually striving towards incremental goals.
At Incubeta we work to improve our sustainability through a number of actions including:
- Working with partners to measure our carbon footprint and implement actions to reduce it
- Working with a waste & recycling management service, striving for a zero-to-landfill stance
- Utilising renewable energy providers to power our office
- Reducing the impact of digital carbon by incorporating offsetting opportunities for our clients’ digital activity
- Aiming towards a Carbon Neutral status through offsetting our own digital carbon
This year’s Earth Day is a catalyst to reflect on what positive environmental actions we’re taking as businesses, how we can educate ourselves further, and what committed actions we can take to improve our sustainability long term. Making changes now will not only improve business positioning in the short and long term, but will evoke positive changes in the future.
For more information on how you can implement marketing with a sustainable focus get in touch with us today.