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May 25, 2010

The Convenient Truth?

In 2006, Al Gore issued a call to environmentally-friendly action in his movie An Inconvenient Truth.  Warning of a coming climate crisis, he called on consumers and businesses alike to embrace more environmentally-friendly practices to reduce their carbon footprint.  For the most part, his call has been well received.

In terms of the environment, the country has seen a significant increase in the feeling of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) over the past few years.  Most offices have a recycling program in place and some even have training workshops to educate their employees on environmentally-friendly practices.  Much of this is the result of consumers putting pressure on corporations to change their way and make a difference.

Whether or not you agree with Al Gore’s diagnosis of our planet’s ailments, it is easy to see the marketing implications of “green” practices for almost any business.  No consumer wants to support a company with a horrible environmental track record, so businesses are being forced to adjust accordingly.

Coca-Cola knows all too well the need for businesses to demonstrate sustainability when they advertise their products.  In 2009, they launched an advertising campaign centered on consumers recycling their Coke bottle after they’re finished with it.  Designed to make people feel good about drinking Coke again, it was a great way to attract consumers concerned about the sustainability of plastic bottles.

This is just one of many excellent examples of the marriage between CSR and marketing.  Too often, businesses neglect their responsibility in an effort to cut corners and squeeze out greater profit margins.  However, by remembering your CSR when building your company’s marketing-strategy, you can now look to increase sales and be environmentally friendly all at the same time.  In the end, there will be plenty of green in your pockets and on our planet.