Whatever your views on green issues, one thing is clear, the expectation for companies to be more sustainable is not going away.
According to Forrester's new report, 'How Green is your brand', consumer demand for environmentally responsible products is now mainstream and green marketing is naturally on the increase as is the associated scrutiny. This increase in consumer demand can be felt across industries from the automotive industry to the restaurant business. For example, a recent survey by Caterer & Hotelkeeper showed that 43% of restaurant owners believe that their customers are showing much more interest in their business commitment to sustainability than 12 months ago.
If you're struggling to figure out what level of green engagement is appropriate for your brand, here are some tips that may help:
1. Segment your target customers. When it comes to green issues, both companies and consumers fit into a number of segments based on their attitudes to green issues - from zero involvement to a full commitment to behaving in a more sustainable way.
2. Review your marketing activities. B2b Marketing magazine , for example, outlined 5 steps that a brand could take to communicate a more sustainable focus, including reducing output and using greener suppliers.
3. Be sincere. There's absolutely nothing to be gained from pretending to be something you're not as consumers will easily see through deceptive marketing tactics known as green washing.
4. Incentivise your staff and customers to chose sustainable products.
For example, and I need to declare an interest here, one company, Green Rewards, offers companies the opportunity to reward their customers and staff with Green Points that can be exchanged for a range of products and services that have all been vetted by a sustainability panel.
Practical steps that a restaurant can take to reduce their carbon footprint
My Carbon Footprint App - proctor & gamble
JetBlue's "One Thing That's Green" pledge:
Target's eco-conscious "Refresh Your Nest" home makeover sweepstakes'