Experiential marketer devising sustainability guidelines

ATLANTA: Experiential marketing agency Ignition is aiming to deepen its commitment to sustainability by creating a set of guidelines to reduce the footprint for all of its campaigns and events.

ATLANTA: Experiential marketing agency Ignition is aiming to deepen its commitment to sustainability by creating a set of guidelines to reduce the footprint for all of its campaigns and events.

The guidelines will be based on the BSI Group's international standard, BS 8901. The BSI Group has created more than 27,000 standards that serve as the guidelines for a wide range of products and services, including medical devices, aerospace, and food safety.

While Mike Hersom, president of Ignition wouldn't go into detail about what the guidelines will contain, he said it will address travel, the sources and measurement of waste, and other sustainability issues. The guidelines will also incorporate “human sustainability” as well as “capital sustainability,” and are expected to be completed October 1.

“If you look at all of the marketing disciplines, experiential has one of the biggest footprints of all,” he said, citing an event's transportation requirements as an example.

Ignition works with a number of clients including Coca-Cola, eBay, and PR firm GolinHarris.

During the past 18 months, Ignition has been working to make itself sustainable including hiring a sustainability director, Thatcher Young, who will work to “fully integrate environmental sustainability across its operations and projects,” according to the firm's announcement in June. Ignition is also working to educate employees about being green, which is an element of "human sustainability," Hersom noted.

“You can save a huge amount of money by being sustainable,” said Hersom. “This is what everyone should be doing in this recession.”

Moreover, Hersom said be believes PR pros and marketers will soon be more accountable for bringing CSR into their projects. These guidelines will be a “unique selling point” for the firm.

“Brand managers are looking for clear return on investments. Next will be how those brands are tied to sustainability goals,” said Hersom. “We will be specially placed to be able to speak with authority.”

Ignition is working with its AOR, Louder Than Words, on sustainability messaging and media outreach.

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