Lowering your carbon footprint is not just something to be implemented during the production or logistics phase, it should permeate every facet of your business, including your business-to-business marketing strategies. Many business owners may feel as though there are cost implications to implementing sustainable business strategies, however, this is no longer the case. Here are a few easy ways you can embrace sustainability as a B2B business a little more and help achieve your CSR goals.
Keep Things Paperless
Being paperless is pretty easy these days and is typically seen as the norm. If you were to go back to paper, your clients and customers would probably look upon you unfavorably, as physical documents are often seen as being less secure than digital. However, there are some facets of marketing where going the old-fashioned route is best.
As an example, let’s say you are selling polyurethane molds to concrete companies so they can make concrete garden statues. The problem is that you have a large catalog and many overseas competitors. Being able to post a yearly catalog to your customer’s head office may often draw the sort of in-the-moment attention you need to draw your customers away from your overseas competitors.
If you run a business where posting a catalog through their door is an absolute necessity, then it is vital to seek permission from your customers before you send it. Give them a call or an email, ask them how they are, and ask if they wouldn’t mind receiving your newest catalog. It is vital that if your business or consumers are based in the EU, as per GDPR guidelines, that they have previously consented to be contacted by your business.
The first contact alone can be used to soft-sell your products, or perhaps warm people to the idea of receiving your catalog and buying from you. The worst-case scenario is that they say no, in which case you have saved money and carbon on sending out a catalog to a company that doesn’t want it.
Also, do not send a catalog with your entire inventory unless it is absolutely necessary, and try to use your catalog to encourage people to view your entire inventory online. Also, using recycled or partially recycled paper is also a good way to enhance your sustainability.
Opt for Cloud Computing and Storage
If you need your own servers for maintaining your websites, your network, or your email sending software, then strongly consider using a cloud computing solution instead. Buying, maintaining and running your own servers come with a heavy environmental cost. The running costs alone are pretty high and are lumbered with a heavy carbon footprint.
When you use data centers, in particular cloud computing, you are using other people’s servers with other users. It doesn’t sound very environmentally friendly, but it lowers power wastage by a massive degree.
When you own your own servers, you are not using them to their full potential throughout most of the day. In fact, there are probably many times when your servers are just ticking over with nobody using them at all in any meaningful way. Yet, your servers are drawing power at all times, along with the air conditioners you use to keep them cool. All of this is wasted energy.
On the other hand, when you use a cloud service or data center, there is very little wastage. You use as much as you need when you need it, and no more. While you are not using the cloud/data center services, they are being used by other people. Cloud computing is possibly the most energy-efficient way that any person can use a server, so you should strongly consider using them if you are trying to embrace sustainability for your business-to-business marketing.
Buy Services from Environmentally Friendly Companies
If you are paying money to unethical or unsustainable companies, then you are just as much a part of the problem as they are. Your power company may not directly influence your business-to-business marketing, but your promotional team will have a hard time making sales with no lights on in the office. Buy from energy companies that put a lot of their focus on renewable energy and are honest with their CSR goals.
Try to optimize sustainability in every aspect of your business, with the knock-on effect being that it will positively affect your business-to-business marketing. For example, if your sales team visits customers personally, then have them drive hybrid cars or take the train. Do whatever it takes to ensure you buy from only the most environmentally friendly companies.
Embrace Remote Work Where Possible
Are there tasks that your staff members can do at home? It can be difficult to judge because some tasks may be easy to do at home, but for matters of security and organizational privacy, you may need your staff to undertake such tasks at work in the office.
Remember that cloud computing can help when it comes to remote workers. Back in the old days, a person working from home would need a powerful computer and/or a server and would need easy access to the office network and its software. But these days, only a basic PC is required, and everything from network access to running software can be done remotely using a cloud computing solution.
Try to identify tasks that can be done at home to the point where staff can take a day or two at home rather than coming to work. Having staff stay at home for one or two days during a working week means a lower carbon footprint from having them travel. It also means less power may be wasted on office heating, air conditioning, electric power, and so forth.
Embracing sustainable business strategies as a B2B business doesn’t need to be complicated, and there are many easy ways in which more environmentally friendly processes can be implemented into your business. By embracing these sustainable strategies, your business will make strides towards achieving CSR goals and likely improve its reputation as a sustainable business with consumers.