Marketers: Lead the way to Net Zero - Brilliant Noise

Marketers: Lead the way to Net Zero

By Penny Richards, December 2022. 12 min read. Posts

Sustainability marketing is tough when you’re not an expert

Most of us are feeling climate angst in the wake of COP27 and the need for action at pace. Yet with so many other commercial challenges, it can be difficult to define what you can do to make positive change.

We’re making life easier by sharing resources that will help you take your next meaningful steps to make a difference as a marketer in the age of sustainability.

Climate Vocabulary

The number one action you can take is to familiarise yourself with the proper language and definitions to use when talking about climate change. There is a mounting expectation for companies to publicly discuss their sustainability credentials, so the better you understand the terms, the more confidently you can communicate with consumers and stakeholders. This is essential knowledge for brands that want to dodge the mess of greenwashing.

Top terms for marketers to understand:

Scope 3 Emissions (relative to 1 and 2)

Carbon neutral versus carbon negative

Decarbonising versus carbon offsetting

Science-Based Targets Initiative

Climate communications strategy

Depending on your business, there are two main ways to be clear and concise when communicating about any impact you’re making.

Brand equity

Presenting your sustainability credentials assures your target audiences that your products and services are upheld by a sustainable supply chain as well as a transparent approach to reporting, regarding climate impact and action.

Making this information accessible boosts consumer confidence and keeps you accountable to meaningful improvement. 

Helpful sources: 

Brand purpose

Priorities in marketing need to shift. If your product or service can be used in a more sustainable way, it’s your responsibility to encourage and excite your audience to do so. The Purpose Disruptors calculated that the UK advertising industry influences, and is responsible for 32 % of every citizen’s carbon footprint in the UK.

Consumers feel the pressure to make positive behavior changes and do their part in the climate emergency. The more your brand can promote adopting lifestyle changes – with engaging content or demonstrations of sustainable practices – the greater impact your marketing will have over your competitors.

There is a business case for telling your sustainability story and decarbonising your marketing operations

A lot of brands will only look to their product supply chains when trying to make sustainable changes. But for large organisations, this information can be hard to extract and share with consumers in meaningful ways. 

“The industry needs to reduce its Advertised Emissions to play its full role in helping address our climate emergency.”- Purpose disruptors 2022, Advertised Emissions report.

Marketing has its own carbon footprint. The UK advertising industry emitted 22 million metric tonnes of CO2e between 2019 to 2022, which is the equivalent of running an extra nine coal-fired power plants for a year. According to Purpose Disruptors we have to achieve a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 from the 2019 baseline year.

We’re one of 1000 UK B Corps

November 2022 marks 1000 B Corps in the UK. At Brilliant Noise, we were awarded our certification this year, joining an inspiring community of other brands, including Simply Health, The Body Shop, Danone, Coutts and Nespresso. 

The Ad Net Zero Awards

The marketing awards system has been changing to start celebrating brands and agencies for their efforts in environmental sustainability advertising. It showcases the creative ideas that are making a positive difference and pushing our industry to strive for better. 

Hellmann’s “Make Taste, Not Waste” won the best food campaign award. It had an immediate carbon impact – 32% of those who watched the Hellman’s show said they would use leftovers to make meals. This is a very important issue to tackle for FMCG brands considering if food waste was a country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world.

Let’s get better together

If you want to put people and the planet at the center of your marketing, book a discovery call with Brilliant Noise, a B Corp agency that can help your brand on its journey to Net Zero.