We have already talked in previous articles about how sustainability can be a part of yourcommunication strategy and the 12 best practices for digital sobriety in business, but now let’s focus on the value of digital sobriety in helping your brand image.
Thanks to a study from Sustainable Brands, we know that 78% of consumers choose to support companies that align with their values. More and more, consumers are focused on sustainable actions in their lives and as such are choosing to interact with brands that are also making steps to being more environmentally conscious.
Indeed, in a 2021 SurveyMonkey poll, 77% of consumers said it’s worth paying more for environmentally-friendly products.
How important is it then to incorporate a digital sobriety approach into your overall CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) strategy?
In an article from the Center for Creative Leadership, one of the key desires for millennial workers is the need to do good. Indeed, they also found that 85% of millennials believe that making a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition.
With information available to job seekers such as the yearly most sustainable companies according to Corporate Knights, which spans companies across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific, potential candidates can easily find the companies best aligned to their own values.
Incorporating an approach which considers how your company embarks on digital sobriety is one way of attracting new talent, by demonstrating the progress your company is making in this area. As younger generations become more and more concerned by environmental consequences, this topic is only going to become more important in their search for the right job, within the right company.
Every year, more investors and customers want to know what brands are doing to help make the world a better place. Nearly 90% of millennials are willing to take a pay cut to work at a different company that better aligns with their values. As a result, it’s the norm for most companies to champion sustainability as a critical component to a successful brand.
In the same vein as attracting new talent, digital sobriety approaches are a way of retaining the talent you have.
Digital sobriety, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of your company, is also a way to streamline the processes of your workforce.
For example, using a solution such as Digital Asset Management, you are able to reduce the amount of emails being sent or file sharing services, by establishing workflows within the platform and having notifications and alerts set up for your project which let collaborators know when their input is needed.
This not only helps to reduce your digital footprint but also helps to free up the inboxes of employees, reducing the information that they have to process and helping them to have a smoother work experience.
As well as knowing that their company considers their impact on the environment, employees can also feel satisfied that such steps help them in their daily activities.
One study by Ernst & Young showed that almost 90% of investors now rank ESG reporting as a crucial criteria when determining their investment strategy. It therefore follows that disclosing your company’s sustainability roadmap is a vital tool in the running of your business.
A well-thought out ESG strategy encompasses all parts of your business, from the buildings you occupy to the suppliers you engage with. Understanding how to manage a digital strategy that also favours green actions becomes an important component of any ESG plan.
This could involve using Generative-AI tools which reduce the need to carry out brand new photoshoots or using one tool to distribute your media across multiple channels. As the reliance on digital technology becomes more and more important, acting on your digital footprint is key to managing your emissions, and in turn demonstrating to investors your commitment to the environment.
We know that brands can be very influential and are closely connected to consumers and the trends and happenings in the world. In this way, as sustainability continues to take up space in the minds of consumers, brands must find ways to demonstrate how they too are acting on this pressing issue.
For example, a recent study by NielsenIQ found that 78% of US consumers say that a sustainable lifestyle is important to them. What’s more, the trend for investing in environmentally and socially responsible products isn’t just confined to high-income households, with the Nielsen study showing that a wide range of consumers across incomes, life stages, ages and geographies are all buying into such products.
In this way, companies that have a greater ESG impact appear to have a better chance of growth and consumer engagement.
Focusing on digital sobriety, how have various companies taken steps to reduce their digital footprint?
Apple has set in place a number of sustainable objectives including smarter eco-friendly products and recycling technology. In place since the 90’s, Apple has taken on a global initiative to recycle various materials. To highlight this, in its 2021 Environmental Progress Report, Apple showed that they had designed the iPhone 12 and Apple Watch Series 6 with 100 recycled materials.
Apple has also established programmes to run its data centres on renewable energy as part of their carbon neutrality by 2030 goal.
Intel has set up goals to use 100% renewable energy across their worldwide operations, as well as developing eco-friendly chemicals and equipment to be used in their design processes.
eBay has managed to successfully reduce emissions in their operations by using energy-efficient power across their offices and data centres.
As digital technology and use continues to increase exponentially, the importance of understanding how it affects the planet is a key question on the minds of consumers and brands.
Taking small steps such as rethinking the materials used by employees or investing in tools such as a DAM system are ways of working towards a digital sobriety approach.