7 mins

Sustainability is all about meeting our present needs without compromising the needs of future generations. Not only is this imperative regarding our lovely blue planet, it’s essential if you want your brand to be respected and rejoiced by audiences.

Today, we’re highlighting why it’s now more important than ever to be environmentally considerate with your branding, products and values. Time to go green or go home!

So, what actually is sustainability? 

In a nutshell, sustainability means reducing natural resources to maintain ecological balance. For all you marketers and creatives, that means minimising your use of non-reusable materials that can cause damage to the earth. 

The importance of sustainability has gained more traction over recent years. The climate crisis has spurred people into action to look after our world. 

Eco-friendly advertising doesn’t just reinforce these changes; it also shows your brand is willing to change with the times.  

Consumers can relate to companies that care about the planet, so they are more likely to buy from brands that take action to protect the environment. In fact, 60% of consumers rate sustainability as a key factor that influences their purchasing decisions. 

So, where’s a good place to start? Packaging! A major player when it comes to problems in advertising – so what can you do to make sure plastic is a thing of the past? 

Plastic pollution – what’s the problem?

Pretty much everything comes wrapped in plastic. An immense concern concerning sustainability, plastic pollution has many negative impacts on the environment, such as killing wildlife and making its way into food chains through micro-plastics. 

Plastic pollution is becoming a huge conversation for audiences, with most people wanting to buy from brands committed to being as sustainable as possible. 

Single-use plastic packaging isn’t biodegradable, usually ending up in harmful piles of WALL-E looking landfills. From landfills, plastic can make its way into the ocean, ending up being eaten by sea life – which shouldn’t be on their dinner menu. 

This is harmful to not only the animals in the sea, but it could potentially mean that we may ingest microplastics into our bodies by consuming fish. Yes, it’s that bad!  

Over half of the world’s single-use plastic waste is produced by just twenty companies. That may sound bad, but if these brands can change their ways and reduce the amount of single-use plastic used, we can reduce plastic pollution by up to half of the amount currently produced. 

If your brand is keen to create campaigns for OOH or physical products – here are some tips and tricks to make sure what you make keeps things leafy. 

Putting the eco in advertising 

In The 2021 Buying Green Report, surveys showed that “57% of consumers are less likely to buy products with packaging that is harmful to the environment”. 

It’s in your best interest to package products in sustainable materials. It’s great for the environment and a grand way to engage with more customers. Here are some examples of how to eco your advertising: 

  • Recycled packaging

From glass and card to metal and paper. It may sound obvious, but making sure your packaging products in reusable material will decrease your brand’s carbon footprint.  

  • Corrugated Cardboard 

The most common material used for packaging is corrugated cardboard. Whenever a delivery from Amazon appears, or you need a box for the big move day, it’s corrugated cardboard. 

The great thing about corrugated cardboard is that it’s eco-friendly and extremely durable. It’s a win-win for marketers wanting to ship safely to customers. 

  • Plant-based compostables    

Plant-based packaging is made in part or entirely out of organic matter. For example, sugar cane or corn starch are biodegradable, naturally dissolving over time. 

There’s still a lot of work needed to perfect plant-based packaging, but we’d recommend keeping it on the radar – especially if you’re marketing for food-lovers. 

Follow in the right footsteps. 

There are plenty of brands embracing sustainable packaging with their arms out wide.

Pela is a fantastic brand that positively displays its passion for sustainability. Plastic phone cases contribute massive amounts of waste, resulting in those dreaded landfills filling up.  

Pela eliminates this problem by selling a phone case that will break down when disposed of. Their packaging comes from 100% recycled and recyclable paper. 

A core value for Pela’s is that “Products should go back to the earth in a natural cycle”. On Instagram, they have 555k followers, proving people have a positive reaction toward Pela due to their commitment to helping the planet.  

Your brand values are the first things to consider; you want audiences aware of how you’re willing to make a change. What’s more important is you then act upon these values! 

But try to avoid this… 

Coca-cola is a brand that produces 2.9 million tonnes of plastic per year. The brand recently ran a campaign to increase the recycling efforts of its products. Coca-cola aims to make all of its packaging 100% recyclable by 2025 and 50% recycled material in packaging by 2030. 

Good, right? Well… There have been quite a few negative reactions to the campaign. On Youtube, a viewer commented: 

“Recycling ads (like this) are corporations’ way of blaming plastic waste on their customers who don’t “recycle”. Maybe corporations should be held accountable for releasing tons of plastic into the world in the first place?” 

Only about 9% of all plastic ever made has likely been recycled. Perhaps recycling is no longer sustainable? Brands should be moving away from packaging that can be recycled and towards compostable packaging

It’s crucial that when you preach for change, you follow the correct steps in making it a reality. Make sure your values and campaigns follow the CMA’s Green Claims Code and don’t end up greenwashed

Key Takeaways:
  • Eco-friendly advertising isn’t just a fantastic way to improve our world; it shows that your brand can help lead the conversations for change. 
  • There’s a garden centre’s worth of reusable materials out there for you to get creating with. From corrugated cardboard to plant-based compostables, it’s time to look into new ways to package your products. 
  • Keep to your claims! Advocating for change is one thing; following through is the essential part. Make sure your values, stats and creative truthfully reflect the content you’re creating.  
The grass will get greener!

Eco-friendly produce doesn’t mean creativity has to be as bland as the cardboard straight out of the box. In fact, it provides you with the opportunity to think outside that box. 

There’s a ticking clock for brands to change – you can’t put it off forever. And with audiences responding negatively to brands avoiding the problem, why take the risk? 

If you’d like advice on how to advertise in an eco-friendlier world or want to supercharge your creative campaigns so they’re as green as can be – contact our creative team now.  

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