The role of modern marketing in carbon reduction

Dear Procurement, Sustainability and Marketing:

You’ve handed one another in the corridor (digital or in any other case) sometimes, giving a head nod and mumbling an informal “hey.” But with the CEO’s pronouncement that the corporate will restrict greenhouse fuel (GHG) emissions and change into internet zero by the top of the last decade, it’s time you bought to know one another higher. 

Lots higher. 

Your CEO is realizing the worth of weaving sustainable practices into enterprise as a manner to assist the planet and strengthen the underside line. Like different corporations, attaining internet zero requires wringing carbon from each facet of your corporation, particularly in the provision chain the place most of your emissions are produced. Helping your suppliers set and obtain emission reduction targets will likely be vital to attaining internet zero. What’s extra, because the SEC proposes rules to standardize and improve climate-related disclosures to buyers, the urgency to realize your CEO’s imaginative and prescient solely will increase.  

As you learn this, Sustainability, you’re little doubt nodding your head vigorously, having evangelized the rules of internet zero because you have been ambulatory. As the consultants in provider relations, Procurement, you’re shortly catching up and understanding your role in working with suppliers to change into carbon impartial. Marketing, little doubt you’re scratching your head questioning (exterior of a normal curiosity in sustainability) why you have been invited to this soiree.

So glad you requested. 🙂

In the hunt for internet zero, Sustainability and Procurement usually accomplice with suppliers to set emission reduction targets like science-based targets or SBTs. Created by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), SBTs are formalized GHG commitments and are step one for a lot of corporations on the highway to carbon reduction. While the most important suppliers could have the funds and expertise to set and obtain SBTs on their very own, the remaining a whole bunch (or hundreds) of long-tail suppliers want help. Procurement and Sustainability can solely scale their experience and engagement thus far when working one-on-one.

Dig deeper: How is overcompensating for its carbon emissions

Marketing, if you happen to dozed off, that is the place you come in. 

Using strategies honed over time, Marketing can economically improve the attain of Sustainability and Procurement with compelling content material and coaching delivered by way of highly effective martech platforms. These instruments and methods will assist some suppliers to self-service via the SBT journey. For the remainder, Marketing can zero in on probably the most promising suppliers and move them to Sustainability for direct engagement and (hopefully) profitable SBT outcomes. As suppliers work towards setting and attaining SBTs, further marketing campaigns and focused engagement from Sustainability can assist suppliers in progressing alongside their carbon reduction journey. 

Here are tried-and-true instruments and methods Marketing can make use of for profitable provider engagement:

  • Audience technique: Defines goal suppliers, how finest to achieve them and learn how to message and place the worth of carbon reduction.
  • Journey mapping: Envisions the provider engagement expertise primarily based on their maturity, creating and routing suppliers via customized content material journeys designed to assist them undertake and obtain SBTs.
  • Content: Creates compelling copy and calls to motion at each step in the journey, inspiring suppliers as to the “why,” guiding them to the correct assets and coaching whereas clearly displaying the worth of SBT adoption.
  • CRM: Serves because the provider system of file for direct engagement, holding their contact and engagement info and monitoring their journey alongside codified “states” from first contact to adoption and past.
  • Marketing automation: Automates journey mapping by way of scalable e mail communication paths that focus on suppliers primarily based on the place they’re in their journey, passing key knowledge onto the CRM system to point which suppliers are finest suited to direct engagement.  
  • Webinars and occasions: Scales training in the shape of coaching, round-tables and on-demand webinars, permitting Sustainability to achieve a number of suppliers directly. Tracks interplay knowledge which might be fed into marketing automation and CRM methods to tell automated applications and direct engagement.
  • Web portal: For bigger corporations, this could function a middle of gravity with helpful and interesting content material in the shape of movies, how-to guides and publicly accessible assets. Referenced by marketing campaigns and in direct engagements, these supplies allow suppliers to self-serve wherever potential in their SBT efforts.
  • Analytics: Track communications and content material performing effectively, optimizing provider progress as they transfer down the engagement funnel to adoption.

Sustainability and Procurement, if you happen to’re performing some model of the above with restricted success, while you move Marketing in the corridor take a second to ask about these instruments and methods. Marketing has the expertise to carry it collectively in a potent bundle. When the three of you concentrate on what you do finest, provider engagement might be powerfully and economically scaled.

Marketing, perhaps you’ll be able to’t prioritize provider engagement help attributable to competing priorities, capability constraints, or an absence of funds. Adapting marketing platforms and processes require investments of time and assets. In these instances, contemplate working with companions who present turnkey provider engagement applications. 

Ensure these companions:

  • Understand modern marketing and the nuances of SBTs to allow them to create compelling content material and coaching at each step in the provider journey.
  • Protect and securely handle provider knowledge with their martech options.
  • Design applications to reintegrate together with your native martech ought to the necessity come up. 

Sustainability, Procurement and Marketing all have a role to play in a sustainable future for our planet. Working hand-in-hand with sustainability groups to scale provider outreach, you’ll be able to all encourage and educate corporations to cut back provide chain emissions and obtain carbon reduction targets.

Now that you just’ve been formally launched — discuss amongst yourselves.


Conservation Confidant

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About The Author

Spence Darrington

Spence Darrington is a Managing Director and marketing scale knowledgeable at Bridge Partners. Prior to Bridge, Spence labored for Microsoft, Expedia Group, and Ford Motor Company serving to remodel their marketing fashions to realize scale. While at Microsoft he pioneered B2B marketing shared companies for supply, constructing a company of 500+ execution consultants primarily based in hubs world wide. Spence holds a Bachelor’s diploma in International Relations from Brigham Young University and a Masters in Business Administration from Purdue University. Spence lives in the Seattle, WA space.