Reap what you sow.
There has been an undeniable shift in the world’s mindset towards sustainability and “going green”. As consumers find ways to leave a smaller carbon footprint, businesses and brands have to follow suit.
Luckily, consumers are willing to pick up some of the bill, with 66% or the respondents in a Neilson’s study saying that they are willing to pay more for products and services from environmentally minded companies. Interested in taking your first sustainable steps?
Here are some green tips.
There are so many ways to show consumers your commitment to sustainability and the environment. These are just a few of our favourites:
It’s not just the actual products that you can make green, get to the consumers’ hearts through experiential green marketing they’ll never forget. Make a statement to the brand’s dedication to sustainability through subliminal advertising. Incentivise your consumers to make green decisions and acts. From recycling your product in exchange for fresh ones to cycling to your sponsored event and receive a VIP experience.
Recycled, refurbished and re-purposed promotional gifts are an easy way to re-use the abundance of waste out there like bags made from old billboards, or shirts and jackets made from the plastic col- lected from the ocean.
Promotional gifts that have a second life are a massive, innovative trend. Give your consumers a branded compostable cellphone cover or yoga mat that they can then dig into the garden when they’re done to feed the ecosystem.
Sustainability is more than just “going green”. It’s also about creating and maintaining the conditions for humans in their communities and in nature to exist in productive harmony. Global consumers have become global citizens who care about fair trade and other’s human rights.
According to Cone’s CSR study, 91% of global consumers expect companies to do more than just make a profit, but to also operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues.
Think Design | The Three Rs
While there is awareness of what goes into the manufacturing, like the harmful materials and the process, the design intent is often overlooked. Design theories like “Cradle to Cradle” or “Cradle to Grave” take holistic views of an item’s life cycle. You don’t have to get too philosophical about your approach, but consider the following.
Is there an opportunity to use commercially recycled materials? There is often a trade-off between “green” and aesthetics as recycled materials often look a little worse for ware when compared to their virgin equivalent. Paper might not look as bright and shiny, and plastics may look a little milky but it’s worth it in the end.
Have you taken stock of what you have? There may be something existing that you could modify or adjust to suit your needs. If not, think of the potential life span of an item and design in features which give it the ability to be reused in the future. This can save money and the environment at the same time.
Land and ocean fill are two of our largest environmental issues. Don’t throw things away, rather give them a second life through smart design. Such as packaging that can be used as POS, or billboards turned into bags, or POS that can be used as furniture. The second life of a product can often have a greater offset than “recyclable” materials, especially in countries who don’t have the necessary infrastructure to recycle all materials.
So, there is a lot of noise around materials, especially the big bad plastic, and how terrible they are for the environment, but not all of us can tell the good and the bad apart. Knowledge is power so here’s your sustainable materials 101, class is in session.
Materials to avoid
ABS, poly-carbonate, polyethylene, organic plastics
Mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium
Bamboo solid woods
FSC paper, honeycomb boards
Materials to avoid
Acrylic, nylon, resin, PVC rubber
Solvent based ink & paint
MDF, chipboard engineered stone
Paper laminated vinyl
There are so many alternative material choices available and with growing support they are becoming more and more affordable. Just remember, it’s not just the material chosen, but the consideration of the full life cycle of a product which can make a real impact.
Point Forward is a thought leadership article intended to spark conversation and explore new ideas, technologies and trends in the world of marketing collateral. At Point, we actively encourage collaboration, problem-solving and reimagination because innovation is ingrained in our culture and mindset. There is always a better way to approach design, business, technology, and everything in-between, and Point is committed to finding it within ourselves, partners, suppliers and clients.