Sustainability in Marketing


Sustainability is becoming a day-to-day focus for people and organisations all over the world. In fact, ethical and sustainability issues are a key factor for almost a third of consumers, who claim this is a key driver in their buying decisions.

To meet consumer needs, organisations are striving to incorporate sustainability within their functions, and marketing sustainably is no exception. But how can businesses respond when it comes to wanting to communicate and market sustainability?

“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly.
We need millions of people doing it imperfectly”
Anne Marie Bonneau

So what is it to market sustainably?

Let’s not get caught up in jargon or any other scary terminology we might hear or read in relation to this topic. Sustainable Marketing, in the words of the Network for Business Sustainability, is simply marketers working together to foster marketing activities and strategies that promote environmental wellbeing, social equity, and economic development in a manner that enhances the business. And the good news for marketing and communication functions is that making small changes to your marketing approach can help your organisation become a more sustainable and environmentally friendly brand.

1. Re-think your promo items

What represents your brand is meaningful. It sets the tone. Therefore, try not to use single-use-plastic when creating promo items. And make it useful! In fact, 61% of consumers have cut back on single use plastics. So don’t waste effort on creating novelty, plastic keyrings, or USB sticks with no real storage space. Instead think of branded reusable water bottles or coffee cups, or perhaps support a local small business. Buying local goods is something 45% of consumers are doing more of in their effort to be more sustainable.

2. Increase your digital footprint and decrease your paper footprint

Divert your direct mail budgets into your digital efforts. Send an e-shot to your database instead! Create targeted content for your social media and ensure your website is hitting all the SEO marks it needs to in order to be reaching your audience. If you do need to print, make sure you’re recycling your used documents correctly and in an environmentally friendly way – paper makes up 26% of landfills, due to not being recycled correctly.

3. Support a cause

Much like your promo items, this needs to have synergy with your brand and align with your wider organisational goals. Whether that’s donating unused items, supporting a food bank, or giving your staff a paid charity day so they can donate their time to a cause close to their heart e.g., a litter pick on a beach. This support will reflect the values of your organisation, and 85% of customers have a more positive image of a company when it supports a charity they care about.

Sustainability at Millrace.

Here at Millrace, we have been working hard to make our offering more sustainable, and we are committed to constantly reviewing our impact on people and planet. To support our mission and to keep us focussed we’ve developed our own company Sustainability Policy. In addition:

  • We’ve opted to use a local supplier for office furniture, including office desks made from reclaimed wood.
  • We refuse to work with organisations involved with ethically dubious activities such as military systems and tobacco.
  • We are committed to our blended working approach to reduce unnecessary travel.

If you are looking to take steps to make your marketing more sustainable, but you’re not sure where to start, drop us a line at

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