Consumers and companies alike find themselves focusing on the environmental impact of their daily activities. Going green has become more than a mere trend; eco-conscious alternatives to traditional business models typically save money and provide excellent PR opportunities. Most of these efforts revolve around sustainable energy solutions at the expense of less obvious issues.
Almost everything affects the natural world in some way, including marketing ventures. Thankfully, a UK company developed a tool to accurately measure the carbon footprint of an advertising campaign.
Created by Starcom MediaVest, CarbonTrack is capable of tracking a campaign’s emissions from start to finish. This allows companies to assess their practices from a previously ignored standpoint. The data will help them identify problem areas and truly understand the consequences of their actions. Of course, it will be impossible to determine how many mailers people toss into the street; such behavior represents a potential secondary effect of relying on print media. There are some factors that simply cannot be accounted for. Nevertheless, CarbonTrack has enormous potential to transform this industry from both the supply and demand sides of the equation.
For the first time, corporations will be able to come up with a detailed cost benefit analysis from an ecological perspective. This sophisticated technology will likely produce surprising results wherein companies set emissions goals and discover innovative ways to meet the established targets. The raw numbers will remain confidential, so no one needs to worry about being branded a big polluter for participating. At the same time, sharing the ugly truth could inspire a friendly competition between professionals as to who can create the most effective campaign with minimal environmental repercussions. Companies may also share the figures with their partners in order to develop better strategies on a collaborative basis.
Advertising agencies, for their part, have a fresh angle to pursue when attracting potential clients. They will be able to use lower emission standards as a selling point and demonstrate their effectiveness via a verifiable, third party database. Clients with initially high carbon footprints should be considered a lucrative challenge to marketers interested in branding themselves as green gurus. Later, the heavy polluters might serve as case studies for successful implementation. Here’s hoping everyone realizes the benefits of digital i.e. paperless advertising en masse!