Make your competitors green with envy

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Curt Bloom
Curt Bloom

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) triggered a media storm by announcing that, in its opinion, carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases do indeed threaten public health and welfare by contributing to negative climate change. The organization has suggested imposing environmental rules on business, but opponents have been vocal about the effect these might have on the economy.

While the environmental and media dust settles, should businesses really force required regulations to begin demonstrating a strong commitment to the environment? Surely if anything, this legislation represents a watershed moment to begin leading by example? After all, green practices often make sound business sense. By streamlining the way it handles its marketing, an organization can significantly reduce its environmental impact. Who said it's not easy being green?

Green marketing may sound like an oxymoron, but focusing on digital marketing is one way an organization can become greener. The immediate advantage of electronic campaigns over direct mail is that there is no physical material sent out, reducing the carbon that is released through printing and manufacturing processes. Email marketing also reduces the amount of material that needs to be disposed of or recycled, and because things don't have to physically mailed, costs are significantly reduced too.

Despite email being a fast and efficient communication channel, organizations need to ensure that every message they send has value for the recipient. It's only when you engage recipients that you truly communicate, and it's a waste of money and resources to send out unnecessary messages saying things like: ‘we're great'.

Of course, email campaigns do still have an environmental impact, as all human activity does. But the environmental cost of a single email message is likely to be smaller than that of a comparable print mailer in most cases. For business to business campaigns in particular, the recipient's computer will already be switched on, so the environmental cost is limited to the power consumed by systems used for email delivery.

Businesses may soon be facing increased environmental regulations, but becoming greener now rather than later will help them do more than just prepare for this eventuality – it will help them cut costs too. Digital marketing means communication is more green, the business is more green, and there is more green in your pocket. And, with luck, that should make your competitors green with envy.

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