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Sustainable Business Practices and Digital Marketing

Dec 30th, 2021 by Stephanie Warner
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Sustainable Business Practices and Digital Marketing 

Around the world, businesses are putting together their year-end results and looking towards the new year by setting business targets and goals to work towards. Over the past few years, many businesses have started to add sustainability goals into their annual benchmarks and incorporate more and more sustainable business practices into their operations each year. 

The Climate Pledge

Recently, there has been an additional push for businesses and organizations to embrace sustainable business practices. In 2019, Jeff Besos and Amazon partnered with Global Optimism to create The Climate Pledge and make a commitment to net zero carbon by 2040. This goal calls on all signatories of the pledge to reach net zero carbon 10 years prior to the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement is the international and coordinated solution that was agreed upon in 2015 by 191 countries and the European Union. 

The Climate Pledge made it clear that nations aren’t going to be able to do this on their own. Corporations around the world need to join the fight against climate change. Since its launch, a growing list of major companies and organizations have joined The Climate Pledge, with over 210 signatories by December 2021. When organizations sign the pledge, they are committing to three principal areas of action:

  • Regular Reporting - Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis.

  • Carbon Elimination - Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through business change and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies.

  • Credible Offsets - Take action to neutralize any remaining emissions with additional quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

It’s exciting to see these major commitments by some of the largest companies in the world to address climate change. Notable signatories include Microsoft, Snap Inc., BT Group, Salesforce, and Proctor & Gamble to name a few. Not all organizations are created equal, and where Amazon is a global company with operations that span e-commerce, cloud computing, consumer products, and so much more, every business should still evaluate ways they can incorporate sustainable business practices into their operation. Thankfully, this trend towards sustainability is what we are starting to see across businesses big and small, local and global. 

More promising data points

In addition to the Climate Pledge, we are happy to highlight additional data points that demonstrate that more actions are being taken to tackle climate change, and not just in the US, but around the world. 

  • In 2020, wind and solar power grew by 9.5% across the globe. This was driven by a surge in offshore wind power generation in the UK, China, Germany, and Belgium. In the US, the growth of wind and solar power hit 11% of the total power mix while the EU, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, Brazil, and Mexico also increased their wind and solar power capacity.

  • According to the International Energy Agency, renewable energy is becoming cheaper. In the next 5 years, solar and wind are set to overtake the capacity of coal and oil.

Addressing climate change through better business practices is a necessity, let’s see how businesses are making these adjustments in a manner that still enables successful and profitable business results.

Sustainable choices make business sense too

Many businesses view sustainable business practices as a major shift in how they are doing business. Executives are not sure where to start, and are concerned about costs. The good news is that as more companies adopt these sustainable practices, the business results are very encouraging. In 2018 Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that businesses with a real commitment to sustainability produced higher three-year returns, were more likely to become high-quality stocks, and were less likely to go bankrupt.

The focus on more sustainable business practices also relates back to how the company is structured and managed. Oftentimes, the businesses that are focused on green initiatives are more concerned with the long-term health of their business rather than just short-term goals. Employees are now more aware of the business practices of their employers and in the same way that consumers are choosing brands that promote eco-friendly values, employees are seeking out employers with the same values. As a result, retaining and recruiting exceptional talent is also easier when you have a business focused on sustainability.

Digital marketing is a sustainable business practice

Prior to the global pandemic, it was clear that we were moving quickly toward a digital-first future. The pandemic just propelled digital adoption forward by about 5 years in only a matter of weeks. From ordering groceries online, food delivery, working from home, remote teams, remote collaboration tools, online learning, telemedicine, the list goes on. 

Digital marketing was already extremely popular and effective for businesses and has recently become the main marketing vehicle for most companies. Considering the majority of customers own a smartphone — 85% of adults in the US — your digital marketing audience is within reach with just a click of a button. Plus, digital marketing also happens to be very cost-effective and a sustainable business practice. 

Digital marketing and digital publishing compared to print marketing have clear cost-saving advantages. For example, instead of printing 1000 brochures to hand out at an event with a physical presence, you can publish digital brochures, eBooks, catalogs, one-sheets, etc. for a fraction of the cost and the potential to distribute the content to many more customers without needing to be in the same location as the customers to still reach them. Digital marketing is dynamic, agile, and ready for omnichannel campaigns which best meet the needs of today’s marketers. In addition, it fits nicely into sustainability goals.

The Issuu digital marketing and sustainability solution

Issuu helps people transform static designs into dynamic content for every digital marketing channel. Issuu empowers anyone, from independent creators to global brands, to reach their customers through meaningful content, optimized for all screen sizes, formats, and channels. 

As a digital publishing company, the nature of Issuu’s business helps improve the environment and saves an immense amount of paper each year. Every piece of paper saved reduces the carbon footprint and helps repair our planet by reducing the number of trees needed for traditional publishing. Sustainability affects us all. As a digital SaaS company, sustainable practices represent an important core business value, and we want to leave the world better than we found it.

Since sustainability matters to us at Issuu, we thought it was important to quantify how our digital publishing platform was making a difference. Our calculations started this past Earth Day by counting the more than 20,000 new documents and publications uploaded to Issuu every day. Publication sizes are both big and small, from two-page sales spec sheets and 10-page real estate brochures to 48-page travel magazines, 300-page retail catalogs, 500+ page textbooks, and beyond. We also analyzed that there are over 1,588,139,035 reads of Issuu publications from March 2020 to March 2021. That equaled over 32 billion pages being read on Issuu in the same period, which is actual eyes and impressions on pages of content. We estimated that 1 tree is equal to 8,333 sheets of paper so from March 2020 to March 2021 3,811,686 trees were saved by distributing content on Issuu!

Every Issuu customer has at least 1 sustainable business practice by choosing to publish their content digitally rather than printing.

Save Trees with Issuu

By helping our customers move away from print, we’re able to help companies around the world reduce their carbon footprint. Issuu is a community of content creators, with a motto to create once, share everywhere.

By publishing digitally, not only are you reaching a global audience at a click of a button and a fraction of the cost, but you are helping the Issuu community save 3.8 million trees annually and counting!

Incorporate more sustainable business practices in your operation in 2022 and join Issuu to start creating interactive digital content that saves trees and reaches more customers. 

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