B2B Green Marketing

While the primary reason for making the office an eco-friendly space is to be more responsible environmentally, a side benefit is it attracts business. How so?

When clients are choosing between a company with a green consciousness and another which may do things by the book but without the extra pro-environmental effort the scales often tip in favor of the former and the reason isn’t just idealistic.

The fact is with the greener one’s focusing on better efficiency and sustainability there’s more of a chance both ideals will result in a tighter ship, faster and smoother turn over, and whenever possible, lower prices. This isn’t always the case but makes a sharp impression when it is.

Furthermore, while a greener company is attractive for a wide range of consumers the same thinking holds true for businesses dealing with other businesses and in some cases can be an even bigger draw.

After all, businesses are always trying to finds ways to cut expenses and when it’s a business 2 business matter having a green partner, vendor, or outsourcing team can be extremely advantageous.

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That’s why companies wishing to move towards a greener production and market in order to attract interest from other businesses can act in the following ways.

Invest in greener communication
In many businesses a lot of paper is still used for day to day processing, something which can be cut down to an absolute minimum by making all document usage digital. After all whether it’s highlighting or editing pretty much everything that would be done by hand can be done on screen and since computers are just about everywhere converting to an all digital workflow shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Additionally, going fully digital can be advantageous when it comes to potential B2B partners as everything is easier to document and usually more organized than going through stacks of papers. Investing in newer technology for better communication may cost more at first but has its benefits when it comes to the environment and making a strong impression on potential business clients.

Green Utilities
Companies periodically search for ways to cut overhead and lower the budget but don’t always consider the amount which could be saved with better efficiency when it comes to utilities. For instance, in regions with variable weather patterns like Salt Lake City where depending on the season central heating or air conditioning is common throughout the year how much air escapes through drafts in windows and doors?

Sealing drafts, installing solar panels, and adding water regulators to faucets are just a few things which will raise the status of a company up a notch in the eyes of others seeking to do deal with green businesses.

Manage Waste
One of the worst offenses a company can commit is polluting the environment with chemicals and contaminants used during production. Such incidents are well documented and some of the worst are known to have caused high rates of illnesses in surrounding communities.

Aside from disposing of hazardous waste properly and according to regulations incorporating alternative eco-friendly ways to satisfy production needs is a key to going green. A further step would be being able to convert waste into something useful such as scraps of lumber from a construction project being recycled into wood chips.

Again, taking some green steps may cost a bit from the onset but will pay for itself down the road, especially when these green efforts become known to other businesses also interested in averting dangers to the environment.

Market these efforts
After all is said and done transforming a company into a full on green business needs to be balanced with a marketing campaign notifying the public of its efforts. Everywhere the company places its name the fact it has gone green should be highlighted and if possible getting accredited by a respectable green organization would help as this accreditation will go far.

Still, it may take time to reach that point. Nevertheless that a company is making strides in this direction is still a point to promote when dealing business to business.

Discuss This Article

Comments: 1

  • Jim Bowes says:

    Dear Barry,
    As an advertising professional over 30 years who left the agency world to start my own business to help advertisers fulfil their own ambitions when it comes to the last and critical link in their chains of custody, I have been deeply involved in sustainability for over seven years.
    One of the biggest challenges advertisers face is finding advertising and marketing agencies that are not only able to produce “green” campaigns but are also sustainable themselves.
    The communications industry is far behind all other industry sectors and I challenge you to find more than one or two international agencies that are sustainable themselves.
    Perhaps an even harder challenge is then finding a form of mass communication to use to spread the word. Though digital is one of the more efficient ways, this area too needs vast improvement if you look at how data centres are set up. Here is an interesting article by the New Your Times.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/technology/data-centers-waste-vast-amounts-of-energy-belying-industry-image.html?_r=1&

    My company has focused on providing sustainable alternatives to out of home advertising which is probably the most unsustainable form of communication at the moment. Paper posters (printed often with petroleum based inks), and PVC billboards (printed with aggressive solvent based inks not to mention the amount of electricity used to light them) have a very short life cycle.
    Another challenge is awareness as few consumers or even governmental agencies tasked with turning up the pressure fail to make the connection between a poster or billboard and the impact it has on our environment.
    We are true believes that our industry can play a positive role in helping companies meet their sustainable objectives. But until we, as an industry, begin to participate and improve, all the best intentions of advertisers can result in the risk of their being accused of dreaded “greenwashing” not because of their products or services but because of the agencies they work with and their mass media choices.
    Without sustainable choices, these companies run the risk of being criticised by the sustainable community that is highly educated, very vocal and social media savvy. Our sustainable community, it could be argued, sometimes does more damage than good.
    So though I do agree with your article, I also think we as an industry need to start focusing on our own actions and beginning to fundamentally change the way we operate otherwise we could be doing more harm to the advertisers we work with by placing at great risk to public scrutiny. As a person who considers himself to be quite dark green, it pains me to have to admit to myself that our industry is short sighted and far to centered on short term profits while squandering an incredible opportunity not only to attract business but to improve our own image.
    Unless we are able to provide advertisers with real sustainable solutions though our intentions are good, we will be hard pressed to deliver. Sustainability even “green” requires that we look at the entire chain of custody and not just one or two links in that chain.

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