The most recent hot topic that significantly impacts us, especially governments and corporations, is the “URGENCY” declared at COP 26. I do not claim to be an expert on the environment. I know that all the past efforts to combat climate change have not been enough, and we all need to elevate our game.
The word “climate change” itself has taken on another meaning. The Earth experienced more extreme weather patterns than ever before (bushfires in Northern California are becoming as predictable as Old Faithful). We see the plea from island nations to tackle rising sea levels and younger generations voicing their concerns and pointing fingers at governments and big corps.
Brands have to address the issues that have grown in importance among future consumers. We know that these consumers are more prone to reward brands committed to sustainability, which is more relevant than ever before for brands.
CMOs to take on the responsibility to drive the sustainability agenda 💚
In response to this new expectation, we can expect to see new initiatives by brands to elevate their sustainability image.
Part of that pressure will fall on CMOs, many of whom see sustainability "as an accelerator for innovation, as a method to work smarter, instead of seeing it as the extra workload in and of itself," according to a SupplyShift white paper.
Currently, most of a brand's Green Marketing focuses on leveraging sustainability activities to enhance the brand's image. These activities include the production process, sustainable packaging, materials sourcing, product lifecycle (recycling), and the marketing process. In the past, what CMOs could do independently in terms of the marketing process, are very general: paperless workplace, green ink for printers, sustainable equipment, and use of electricity, to cite a few examples. But we are starting to see more attention to areas where the marketing process can also be greener.
One exciting example is the January 2020 issue of Vogue Italia. The issue brought to light the enormous carbon footprint generated from a fashion shoot. They replace fashion shots with illustrations, eliminating the need :
"to send people around the world on 20 flights and a dozen train rides, to keeping a fleet of 40 cars on standby, to shipping 60 boxes of clothes and accessories, to the plastic wrap on garments and the glaring lights perpetually shining on set" according to the Editor-in-Chief
Sustainability can be achieved through innovative technology
Under the pressure of the urgent COP 26 agenda, brands need to think of new ways to tackle this old issue, not through incremental improvements but by using radically innovative approaches. Though the Vogue Italia stunt brought the attention of many, it did not provide a valuable solution. With millions of products, retailers can't replace their visuals with illustrations.
"Desperate times call for desperate measures", as they say. At nfinite, we introduce a brand new concept: take photo-shooting logistics entirely out of the equation.
Our solution is to replace cumbersome processes with product visual digitization. We do that with a turnkey 3D/CGI imaging technology that enables a few basic photos of all your products to be taken, which we then convert into 3D assets. After that, you can place those assets into any contextual backdrop of your choice. This innovative approach removes the carbon from the process and allows the production team to save time, money, and reduce unforeseen logistical risks.
CMOs are no longer just a vehicle that depends on the innovation of other departments to drive the sustainability agenda, but can now own a brand new category of sustainability initiatives.
As the urgency to change grows, will we see low carbon content favored by the CMOs over high carbon-emitting visuals? And is having a more responsibly designed website with product pages using only low emitting visuals a way for brands to make a statement?