The Carbon Footprint Impact on Brand Image
If there is one thing all companies can universally agree on, it is this: brand image is incredibly important. Especially in these days of “cancel culture”. There is rapid judgment and censuring on social media and companies are rightly very concerned with what people think of them. Everyone wants to make sure they have a positive image. Specifically, when it comes to hot topic social issues important to consumers.
One of those hot topic social issues is climate change. Consumers care about companies being environmentally conscious. A majority of Americans believe global warming is happening and a majority of them worry about it. A majority of Americans also believe that global warming is caused by human actions. Additionally, the majority think that corporations should do more to address global warming.
With consumers’ growing awareness of the harmful effects of greenhouse gasses on our environment, they tend to seek out products and companies that have made some kind of commitment to reducing their carbon footprint. Companies known to have a high carbon footprint are increasingly called out and shunned. With more and more people getting on the green bandwagon, being environmentally responsible is becoming essential for maintaining a good brand image.
At this point, most businesses have realized there is a competitive advantage to marketing themselves as “green.” You can tell by all the commercials companies put out touting how “green” and environmentally responsible they are. However, you may notice something about these commercials. If they talk about how green the company is overall, they tend not to talk about how green the product itself is. And, if they talk about how green a certain product is, they tend not to consider the overall environmental impact of the company.
These claims of environmental responsibility may do something to help a company’s brand image. But currently, there is no objective, quantifiable way to back up those claims for either individual products or the company as a whole. And, certainly not one that consumers can easily and quickly understand and evaluate. There is no way for a consumer to actually know how green a product or company is.
Now, imagine there was a way for a company to objectively prove its greenness. A way for a consumer to quickly and easily see the exact environmental impact of a product. A way for a business to truthfully advertise exactly how environmentally responsible they are.
This is what ICEMAN can offer. ICEMAN gives corporations a powerful tool to help enhance their brand image. A Carbon Factor Index label on a product promotes the green attributes of both that product and the company overall. It allows a company to claim environmental consciousness and responsibility. Moreover, back it up with objective, scientific, mathematical proof of the exact environmental impact of a product.
A CFI label is designed to be easily and quickly understood by the consumer. When a CFI certified mark is put on a website or packaging or in an advertisement, consumers can see at a glance exactly how much that product affects the environment. A CFI of 100 indicates that the production of that product did not have any adverse impact on the environment from greenhouse gas emissions. The lower a CFI value gets, the worse the manufacturing of that product is for the environment. It could not be simpler. A product with a CFI of 100 is greener than a similar product with a CFI of 50.
With a CFI label, a company can prove, objectively and scientifically, exactly how small (or big) its carbon footprint is. A company that can prove they have a lower carbon footprint than a competitor will vastly improve its brand image and customer loyalty. Customers will be loyal to a company that consistently improves its CFI rating, lowering its carbon footprint.
In order to maintain that brand image and customer loyalty, companies will have to examine their manufacturing and shipping processes for carbon inefficiencies. Additionally, they will actively work to reduce their carbon emissions. Manufacturers who do nothing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions will find themselves losing customers. Companies with high carbon footprints will find their brand image tarnished. Low-carbon manufacturers, on the other hand, will burnish their brand image and garner customer loyalty. This will drive manufacturers to use low-carbon materials and components and adjust their manufacturing processes to be more carbon neutral.
Consumer demand for low-carbon, environmentally-conscious products is only going to increase. Companies and products with lower carbon footprints are only going to become more and more desirable. Customers will increasingly choose greener companies over less-green competitors. And they will be even more loyal to a company that doesn’t just claim to be environmentally responsible—but can actually prove it.
 Marlon, Jennifer, Liz Neyens, Martial Jefferson, Matto Mildenberger, and Anthony Leiserowitz. “Yale Climate Opinion Maps 2021.” Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, February 23, 2022. https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us/.