How online shopping can keep business active during the pandemic

Published On: 6th September 2019

The science is clear. We’ve got just 11 years left to limit climate change to 1.5°C – or worsen the risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty…

That is the bleak situation the world finds itself in today.

This being the opinion of the world’s leading climate scientists, who last year commissioned a landmark UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

While limiting global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C may lie at the more ambitious end of the Paris Agreement’s pledge to keep temperatures between 1.5°C and 2°C, it is both affordable and feasible according to the experts – the population just needs mobilising and steered clear of complacency. Experiential events Casa Barcardi festival environmental signage

If everyone has to do their bit, then that also applies to each and every industry out there; we must all be more savvy and question our use of resources to help shift to more sustainable ways of working.

Here at ALTER, experiential marketing plays a big part in our business – and experiential marketing, more than many industries, needs to mobilise itself.

Experiential marketing is all about transporting consumers to other worlds – worlds that are often painstakingly created via a production process that can leave a negative impact on the environment in its trail.

Be it through the use of multiple flights to locations across the globe, the disposal and wastage of set designs, unnecessary overprinting, the use of unrecyclable materials… There are a host of production methods in the world of experiential marketing that could be approached in a more efficient and environmentally-friendly way.

No doubt small steps are being made. An experiential event without paper straws or recyclable cups is rare these days. Yet that counts for little when the sign boasting of the event’s eco-friendly paper straws is itself made out of plastic; while behind the scenes, are these cups being properly washed and recycled?


There is a duty to be more savvy at all levels and to ensure greenwashing is banished; a duty to keep our carbon footprint down across the spectrum of the industry.

It’s time to be held to account and to take a more scientific approach to keeping our carbon footprint down. Delivering carbon neutral events should be at the forefront of all

of our minds.

Experiential marketing is all about passion points – be that through the use of music, art, sport or anything else that we feel might strike a chord with the consumer’s identity. A successful experiential event is an event that taps into these passion points effectively to win the hearts and minds of the consumer.

In a world where there is widespread condemnation and outrage at the burning of the Amazon rainforest, or at the vast swathes of plastic that continue to wash up onto beaches around the world, it’s clear that there is little people are more passionate about today than helping to save the planet from its own self-destruction.

As well as having a duty to the planet, brands have a duty to their customers to address this particular passion point head-on; to go green, to deliver carbon neutral experiential events.

Experiential marketing could do well to take heed from the world of advertising – traditionally one of the more extravagant industries, which at times has been complicit in inflaming the climate change crisis through unsustainable methods.

This summer, advertising agencies and industry leaders collaborated on an open letter signalling the sector’s intention to make a difference, outlining mistakes made in the past and what can be done going forward to reduce climate change. This was followed by an industry ‘Climate Crisis’ summit, set up to address how the sector can help limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2030.

Both moves may have followed on from campaign group Extinction Rebellion sending an open letter to the advertising industry, highlighting why it believes the sector is contributing to the climate crisis and how it can change this – but the response, nonetheless, is still a blueprint for the world of experiential marketing to follow.

The banning of plastic straws and the use of recyclable cups at experiential events are certainly seen by consumers as a step in the right direction – but we must do more.

Yes, the use of wood and recyclable materials also helps, but let’s ensure these are not being ditched after one or two uses, and that they are all coming from renewable sources.

Let’s use water bowsers to capture and store rain water, let’s think about using solar power and wind turbines for outdoor events, let’s limit the use of chemical toilets that may be bad for the environment, let’s take into account noise and light pollution, let’s do all we can to protect local flora and fauna, let’s plant a tree forevery flight that we take, let’s source food with the highest standards of animal welfare possible while minimising the amount that goes to waste, and let’s consider signing up to initiatives like 1% For The Planet, in which companies contribute 1% of its profits directly to environmental causes.

These are conversations that all brands and agencies need to be having regarding their roles and responsibilities in finding sustainable solutions for the future of our planet.

The time is now for the experiential marketing industry to lead from the front; to go green before it proves to be too late.

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