Sustainability Comes to Experiential Marketing

by | Aug 25, 2009

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live-earthA marketing agency is developing sustainability guidelines for its clients’ campaigns and events. The guidelines will measure a campaign’s performance in environmental, human and capital sustainability.

Experiential marketing agency ignition Inc. is basing work for its clients on the BS 8901 standard. Ignition has coordinated marketing of major events including the Live Earth concert, Coca-Cola’s Olympic Torch Relays and FIFA World Cup Trophy Tours, according to a press release

Because the environmental impact of such large events can be quite large, the agency saw an opportunity to design marketing programs from the ground up that were more ecologically friendly.

“We want and need to show clients and our industry that it’s possible to create sustainable, high-impact campaigns that generate stronger results for brands at no incremental cost,” said Mike Hersom, president of the company, in the release.

The new guidelines focus on three areas of marketing.

  1. Environmental sustainability: Maximize energy efficiency of vehicles and equipment, conserve water, work with environmentally friendly suppliers and vendors, reduce and reuse materials, choose alternative energy sources, educate staff on how to implement proper waste management and recycling programs, and purchase carbon offsets.
  2. Human sustainability: Engage full-time employees and part-time event staff in continuous training and education about sustainable practices in experiential marketing.
  3. Capital sustainability: Collaborate with suppliers and clients to make intelligent choices for the environment, while keeping experiential projects cost-effective or cost-neutral compared to higher footprint alternatives.

Within the past year, ignition began buying carbon offsets from Brighter Planet to offset the carbon emissions of its client events. For example, over the 2008 holiday season, ignition and Brighter Planet minimized the carbon footprint of Coca-Cola’s Holiday Caravan tour of 127 U.S. cities by offsetting 100 percent of the CO2 emissions from the traveling exhibits.

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