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Five ways to make your marketing more sustainable

Sustainability is such a huge topic in every sector at the moment and hopefully for a long time! Being more environmentally aware is important to a lot of us now, and I think it’s something that we should all focus on improving as much as we can. That’s why this week the MARUG is organizing a Sustainability Week to encourage sustainability among students. We can all look at our clothes, food, ect., but marketing can be a very wasteful job. In this list you will find five ways to be more sustainable at your (future) job.

  1. Turn off the printer

For meetings, try making notes on your laptop instead of writing everything down on paper. From experience I know that MARUG has these measures in place but other organizations might not. Use a program like Google Drive or Onedrive to share the meeting agenda or really any document you have. Another thing that we can save costs and waste on are business cards (yes quite some people still use business cards). Technology has advanced enough for us to skip the printed version. At a conference I was at there was actually someone who had a QR-code that led to his LinkedIn on him.

Same goes with leafleting, sometimes it can be effective, but it should be avoided. How often do you really look at the leaflets being shoved through your letterbox? I’m guessing very little. So many people are online these days that you really can focus on advertising there by using paid ads for instance.


  1. Re-think your promo items

How many times have you been given some freebie that’s literally just made of throwaway plastic or something bizarre that you’ll never use? Think about novelty stress balls or usb sticks with very little info on them or small notebooks, I could go on for a while with this list to be honest. But I won’t.

Instead you could give these promotional items a go:

  • Reusable coffee cup (always useful)

  • Hemp tote bags (who does not love a totebag)(also free marketing when used again)

  • Water bottle (the reusable ones ofcourse)

  • Bar of soap (I think everyone who’s ever been to a hotel knows the joy of mini soap)

  • Locally-soarced food at events

  • Reusable notepads

To decide what to use, really look at your brand and what items you want your brand to represent.


  1. Embrace your CSR

Corporate social responsibility. It’s essentially your business’ way of “giving back” to the world. Sort of like offsetting any damage you might be doing, by the way the factory processes, transportation, etc. It’s also about being more socially aware and helping to combat any social issues that you feel need to be addressed and looking at working conditions of all employees. 

  • Try to make your workforce diverse if you’re hiring.

  • Try to source as many of your resources as sustainable as possible.

  • Raise money for charity (In next weeks blog you can read how Coca Cola is doing that using NFTs).

  • Reduce the amount of waste, reuse whatever you can, recycle as much as you can.

Be creative! Whether that’s to work from home a bit more, shop local, use a search engine that plants trees for every search (like Ecosia), or even make a loyalty program what helps the environment (for example: “We’ll plant a tree for every 10 cups of coffee you buy?”).


  1. Be aware of who you’re working with

No, I don’t mean Dean from Accounting who still uses plastic water bottles. I’m talking about your suppliers, so do your research on everyone you work with or for. Who you work with reflects on you and your business. Their actions become part of your actions. And if you’re unsure about something, ask them!


  1. Be transparent

In your marketing massaging, you should feel proud of the way your company is run. If you’re not comfortable with being totally transparent, then something’s wrong. Research has actually shown that communication with your customers about how the business operates increases their trust in you and improves your relationship with them in a meaningful way.

Another way to show your accomplishments is to get certified. If you’re offering physical products that have eco-friendly elements to them, get certified. Some certifications or logo’s are things that customers may actively seek out, so it’s worth having them if you can, to open up a whole new audience for you.


These are my five tips for implementing sustainability in your marketing and business practices. Even if you only do a few of these things, you’re still making a difference.