Social media is going through one of its periods of attacks on false claims of being green. We should accept that it is impossible for email marketing to be completely green in the sense of having no environmental impact. Servers, the requirement for precious metals giving the need for mines, plastics everywhere and transport of goods, would require a forest or two to negate the impact.
Because of presentations to the UN by a young, charismatic environmentalist, being carbon neutral and the need for recycling has been in the news almost constantly over recent weeks. Even Brexit has had to fight against it for headlines.
Whether or not you accept the proposition that global warming is man-made is immaterial. Being profligate with resources can have a negative impact on your profits. Whilst Amazon has ridden the social media criticism of its packaging, a smaller company might have taken a serious knock.
Regardless of the rights and wrongs of activists, ignoring the pressure to go green might well result in your company being ‘outed’. Profits in email marketing are tight enough without scoring an own goal. The bottom line is profit. Is lowering your environmental impact an earner?
The opportunities for something to boast of will vary depending on your product. One instance which is rather obvious, so much so that it features in headlines repeatedly, is ink cartridges. Complex plastic creations heading for landfill will negate a lot of positives you might implement.
The problem is that you can’t make any claim in an email marketing campaign of vague community responsibility when sending out cartridges packed in vast volumes of plastic. Using recyclable paper instead is a good step, but it is not enough to suggest a conversion.
Any claim of being green must be evidence based. Say precisely what you have done and itemise its positive effects. Don’t even think of using the word green as it is red rag material. It’s devalued in any case. If you can show you’ve reduced the volume of packaging by 15%, then that’s all you should say.
On the other hand, broadcast the positives and show you’re proud of them.