Sustainable Advertising and Marketing

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Sustainable Advertising and Marketing
Anneke Zwart, Moderator
Where most organizations focus on sustainable production practices, the sustainability with regard to the materials of the products, most organizations neglect the advertising component of sustainability. According to Sarah Williams, advertising could and should be way more sustainable. And because of the increased focus on corporate sustainability since the past decades, sustainable advertisements seem to have a lot of potential.
How can the advertisement/marketing sector become more sustainable?
  1. FROM PRINT TO DIGITAL CATALOGS: Although we are said to live in a digital era, lots of advertisements – for example catalogs – are still printed. And although the catalogue itself might be recyclable, the manufacturing of these catalogs is an unsustainable practice. In terms of sustainability, we see that large organizations are relatively environmentally destructive; small companies are often focusing their marketing efforts to more conscious customers.
  2. UNSUSTAINABLE COMMERCIALS: The production of commercials is an expensive activity and often far from sustainable. Jo Coombes established an online checklist of (advertisement) production practices that will help organizations to make their shoots for example more eco-friendly. Those changes can be very small or large, ranging from the provision of recycling cans on shootings and using solar energy for lighting to the donation of leftover foods and drinks to local communities.
  3. ECO DOMAIN: a ".eco domain" is developed to support people to identify organizations’ values and mission before they have even visited their website. Of course, the domain does not enable to differentiate between organizations in terms of their degree of sustainability. However, it is a step in the good direction.
⇒ What further ideas/practices exist to improve the sustainability of advertising and marketing?
Sources: Williams, S. (2016) “Sustainable Business Starting with Advertising” Newswire



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