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Make Every Day Earth Day: Enhancing Environmental Impact Through Digital Channels

April 22nd, 2024 Michael Mayday

Every April 22nd is Earth Day. But being environmentally conscious is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year job. Fortunately, for digital marketers, being environmentally friendly is as simple as sending an email, right? 

Think again. 

According to Mike Berners-Lee, a renowned researcher and writer on carbon footprints, the average carbon footprint of an email is 0.3g of CO2e. That’s a small number, sure, but think about how many emails you send as a marketer and that small number quickly ticks up into a very big one. 

On-demand strategy

So how can digital marketers cut down on carbon emissions? Simple: by blending their marketing activities into their organization’s ESG program. 

Why ESG is important for marketers today 

Female looking at laptop

From an organizational standpoint, ESG is an important concept that evaluates how businesses impact society across three core dimensions: 

Environmental — That is, how an organization’s activities impact the environment both directly and indirectly. 

Social — How an organization’s policies and actions create a positive social impact. 

Governance — How the leaders and stakeholders within an organization make decisions and policies that impact the organization’s social and environmental responsibilities. 

For marketers, ESG is important because it creates a positive narrative around a brand and shows that the business is invested in bringing positive change to its industry and community. It’s also an influential factor for activist investors looking to fund environmentally responsible organizations. 

How teams can enhance digital activities with an ESG mindset

Female looking at laptop

For marketers, though, ESG provides a useful lens through which they can evaluate their activities. For example, does a tentpole event have a virtual element, allowing would-be travelers to attend from afar? Are you efficiently drafting derivative content from your events? Are you reusing content from webinars? 

Take a moment to quickly think through the marketing activities involved in the lifecycle of a marketing event: 

  • Brainstorming 
  • Outlining 
  • Slide decks
  • Venue selection
  • Travel and lodging 
  • Rehearsal
  • Social media promotions
  • Email promotions 
  • Incentive programs
  • Recording
  • Food and catering 
  • Event analysis 
  • Follow up emails 
  • Derivative content 
  • Video clips
  • On-demand promotions 

That’s a lot! But with an ESG mindset, marketers can reduce, reuse and recycle a lot of these steps — saving time, energy, money and the environment in the process. 

For example, providing a virtual element to any physical event can help marketers scale its reach while reducing the carbon footprint of travel. Similarly, webinar, email and other templates can reduce the time and energy needed to create content. 

And, with artificial intelligence, digital marketing teams can quickly cut down on the time it takes to create derivative content from virtual events, like recaps, blogs and e-books, saving time and shaving off the carbon footprint of content creation.

Three examples of environmentally-friendly digital approaches 

Worker looking at a laptop.

But what does an environmentally conscious digital marketing team look like in practice? Here are three examples to consider: 

AAA — The Auto Club Group

AAA – The Auto Club Group needed to enhance its partner program and provide more robust training options. But the traditional approach — in-person events — requires a lot of travel, which is both disruptive and emissions-heavy.  

To get around these issues, AAA transitioned its training program into biweekly and monthly digital training sessions. This eliminated the need for travel and business disruption and saving attendees both time and travel. 

DOMO 

Think a big, flashy event can only be an in-person experience? Think again. With Domopalooza, DOMO added a virtual touch — using ON24 virtual conference capabilities — to its annual get-together. 

When Domo shifted its annual conference online during the pandemic, it went from 3,000 to more than 9,000 attendees. That’s triple the number of attendees with a reduced impact on the environment — no travel required. 

Avention

One way digital marketers can build an environmentally friendly marketing strategy is to be more effective and efficient with their content. One way to be more efficient with your webinar content is to expand its use through on-demand participation. 

Take Avention, for example. With an on-demand approach, it boosted its number of attendees by 40% while also cutting down the time it takes to set up a webinar by five to 10 hours. 

On-demand strategy

Being environmentally friendly in a digital age isn’t always easy. But small actions, like turning your lights off when leaving a room or setting your thermostat to 68 degrees, can have a big impact. Happy Earth Day!