3 tricks to collecting your own data.
Give your green marketing campaign serious authenticity.
Collecting your own impact data doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Sure, we’d all love to be using blockchain technology but even without expensive software, you can put the data behind your business to work and amp up your green marketing.
Here are 3 simple tricks to help you collect your own impact data.
#1. Use the information you have
You likely have more data than you realize. Think about the hard information you have on your products like where they are manufactured, what they are made of and how far do they travel to you. List out all of the information you have.
Rather than trying to quantify every aspect of your product(s), highlight 3 key metrics where you already have strong data. The trick is to focus on what you have and build from there.
You don’t have to know everything and you likely won’t. But just a few strong metrics can get you started. Focus on what you know and build towards knowing more.
#2. Ask more questions
Take a long look at the information list you gathered above. Are there any gaps? Areas that are blank or somewhat vague?
The answer is likely yes and that’s okay. Those gaps are where transparency and information are lacking. The big question is how are you going to fill in those gaps?
In our experience wanting more transparency always means asking more of the right kind of questions.
Get specific around the type of information you are looking for and then start asking focused questions. Do you want to know about materials? Energy sources? Transportation networks?
Ask your suppliers and manufacturers for spec sheets, info packets and shipping details. Ask for third party certifications and standard compliance. Legitimate companies should have this information on hand and be willing to share.
#3. Use trackers
At Green Story we have professional researchers and analysts quantifying and tracking impact data using global Life Cycle Analysis databases like ISO 14040. While this is the ideal method for data analysis there are simple alternatives that will get you started.
Using a pre-fab impact calculators like the Climate Registry, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Kering’s Environmental Profit & Loss or the EPA’s Green House Gas Equivalencies Protocol can simplify the calculation process and give you instant access to valuable information.
Some calculators look at industry standards while others look at type of impact. Knowing what type of key metric you want to track will make it easier to choose the right type of calculator for your business.
These instant calculators may not give you a complete picture of your environmental impact but they are great for assessing big ticket issues, like carbon load or greenhouse gas emissions.
Now use that data!
No body expects you to be perfect. But everyone expects you to be honest. Impact data is a powerful green marketing tool so be sure to use it wisely.
Your impact data can be turned into social posts, gorgeous graphics, zippy charts and more. Definitely get your brag worthy positive environmental impact out there and in front of your customers.
Share where you are doing really well environmentally but be honest. Do not make false claims. Do not commit the sin of omission. Green washing can get you into a whole world of trouble.
If there are areas where you need to improve speak honestly about where you can and will be making changes. And then show the world how you’re making those changes because that’s good (green) marketing too.