This technology marketing masterclass – hosted by Man Bites Dog’s Head of Technology Division Fiona Buckley and featuring Patrick Cassleman, Senior Director, Sustainability Center of Excellence at Intel and Man Bites Dog CEO Claire Mason – explores marketing at the convergence of sustainability and digitalisation.  

For business leaders, technology plays a paradoxical role in the sustainability agenda. This is because fundamental business functions such as global computing, data centres and data transmission networks are inarguably significant contributors to carbon emissions, water use and e-waste. There is a scale that needs to be balanced: demand for computing performance vs reducing environmental impact.

In this webinar, the panel discussed The Sustainable CTO, a global thought leadership platform developed by Man Bites Dog and Intel, which shines the spotlight on tech leaders as pivotal sustainability influencers in the corporate C-suite. Patrick, Claire and Fiona explain how Intel has used this platform to engage with C-suite buyers and supercharge sales. 

The panel also dived into The Sustainable CTO, a thought leadership initiative created for Intel in partnership with Man Bites Dog. The study gathered insights from 2,020 global business leaders from 22 markets to share their triangulated perspectives as CTOs, CEOs and chief sustainability officers (CSOs) in the world’s largest companies. The Sustainable CTO initiative introduced a new model of tech leader with the potential to become the greatest driver of sustainability in the corporate C-suite. Man Bites Dog positioned Intel as a thought leader in sustainability by moving the agenda beyond ‘tech zero’ to ‘tech positive’.


Tech Zero: Reducing the carbon footprint of an organisation’s IT function. 

Tech Positive: Using technology as a lever for the whole organisation to reach its net-zero goals and to have a positive overall impact, driving business growth and accelerating innovation.


The webinar also broke down five practical steps to successful thought leadership.

  1. Future Thinking: to be a thought leader you must lead, not follow.
  2. A Strong Core Idea: a radical concept that represents against-the-grain thinking.
  3. Substantial Data: credible evidence to support your story.
  4. Alignment to your strategy and services: starting with the end in mind.
  5. Winning attention and engagement: unleashing your experts and engaging others in the story.

Fiona, Patrick and Claire discussed the power of implementing all five of these elements to see both internal and external results across your organisation. Specifically, the panel discussed the opportunity that this content can bring to sales teams. By giving them original data on a topic of key interest to their client's business success, such as sustainability, they can have informed and educated conversations with those clients, forming stronger relationships.

To learn more about the power of thought leadership and what it could mean for your organisation, reach out to us at [email protected]. For the latest updates on Man Bites Dog events and content, register for future event invitations here, or follow us on LinkedIn.

In our webinar, ‘Return on Inclusion’, Man Bites Dog’s Divisional Director, Duncan Sparke, and Associate Director, Lauren Street were joined by financial services industry experts Farmida Bi CBE, from Norton Rose Fulbright, and Dominic Traynor, from BNY Mellon. The session covered how the financial services industry has the ability to not only advocate for major societal change, but to power it. For that reason, no-one else can quite match the potential of financial services marketers to catalyse progress.

To catch up on the webinar, watch the recording below.

The panel discussed the importance of creating impactful social purpose campaigns that cut through the noise. The problem with social impact campaigns, however, is that having a widespread real-world impact doesn’t happen overnight. Our webinar looked at the success factors in building a truly impactful social purpose marketing campaign, and unpacked one particular campaign that echoed around the world: BNY Mellon Investment Management’s The Pathway to Inclusive Investment – flipping the narrative from one of individual risk to one of global opportunity.

The webinar centered around the financial services sector and the pivotal role it can play in fostering positive social change. It touched on the importance of addressing the gender investment gap, and the intersectional complexities that play a role – from culture, and ethnicity, to socio-economic opportunity. The combination of these challenges and financial services’ ability to drive social evolution is a vital interplay.

The topics discussed during the webinar helped to illustrate the importance of the industry engaging with governments, and educational institutions, in an effort to tackle the societal pressures that sit at the cause of the investment gap dilemma.

An example of a purpose-led thought leadership campaign that successfully followed these principles is BNY Mellon Investment Management’s The Pathway to Inclusive Investment developed in partnership with Man Bites Dog. This social impact campaign is the largest study into global female financial inclusion. It found that the investment industry excludes 72% of women, and costs the global economy more than $3.22 trillion. It found that solving the inclusion crisis would open up an additional 1.86 trillion to fund climate and social investment aims.

During the Q&A session, several critical topics were addressed such as: 

Organisations need to be committed to the long-term result with social impact campaigns. Having leadership buy-in and setting the parameters of success as real-world change beyond the immediate top-line advantage is crucial. Cutting through the noise, and delivering a campaign that is truly impactful, with data-driven insights is key in turning the dial on change. 

To kickstart your brand's sustainable go-to-market strategy, reach out to us at [email protected] and explore our sustainability marketing solutions. For the latest updates on Man Bites Dog events and content, register for future event invitations here, or follow us on LinkedIn.

An AI search bar in which someone is asking: How an AI help tackle the climate crisis?

At Man Bites Dog we spend a lot of time thinking about megatrends. Over the last year we have calculated the financial returns on climate adaptation in emerging markets, delved into the impact of the global energy crisis and explored the role of technology leaders within organisations in pushing through sustainability initiatives. Often our thinking on these megatrends involves trying to find a new counterintuitive angle, or exploring how trends currently impacting businesses might interact with each other. 

But in 2024, one megatrend – and two letters – is dominating our thinking more than any other: AI. Depending on your perspective it’s either coming for your job or it will save humanity. The reality is probably somewhere in between, but what is certain is that it will change (almost) everything. Recent trials of Microsoft’s GPT-powered Copilot found 70% of knowledge workers said they were more productive when using the AI tool. Repetitive tasks in the accounting and legal professions are set to be automated out of existence, whilst the application of AI to some of the complex industrial processes or the creation of “digital twins” will create huge real-world efficiencies. And anyone who has attended a marketing event or scrolled through a social media timeline recently (i.e. everyone) is met with fevered speculation about how generative AI will disrupt the marketing industry.  

AI as a carbon cruncher 

However, it is perhaps using artificial intelligence to tackle the biggest and most complex challenge of them all – the climate crisis – where it will have the greatest impact. To achieve a global net zero, the next 25 or so years will require a transformation of business the likes of which the world has never seen. The energy sector needs to decarbonise first and fast (see Supercharging Net Zero, our research project with Arcadis) whilst hard-to-abate sectors such as steel manufacturing will need to revolutionise their processes to produce products without fossil fuels. The full might of international capital markets will need to be thrown at millions of decarbonisation projects across the globe and, in a world of rising sea levels and increased extreme weather events, we will need new and innovative technologies to help communities adapt. 

The good news is – it’s already happening. AI is already being used to intelligently manage power grids to ensure supply better meets demand and it is running as efficiently as possible. The technology is being integrated into accounting software to help businesses track their scope 3 carbon emissions. And the potential for ‘industrial AI’ to optimise processes – and therefore reduce emissions – in the advanced manufacturing, built environment and infrastructure sectors is huge. However, even to the giddiest techno-optimist, it's clear that the huge amount of data centre capacity needed to underpin ubiquitous AI will lead to an equally huge carbon footprint. According to some estimates, the tech sector as a whole could account for a whopping 14% of global emissions by 2040.

Thought leadership opportunities 

But what does this mean for B2B marketing teams and their thought leadership? As with all disruptions for forward-thinking B2B organisations, the AI revolution creates opportunities for growth as their clients seek guidance on what happens next. By undertaking research-backed thought leadership around the impact of AI on the sustainable transition within their sector, marketing teams can cater to that demand – helping their customers navigate the disruption and seize the opportunity of AI. 

Does this sound relevant to the conversations you're having with your clients? Get in touch with the Man Bites Dog team to find out how we could help. 

Contact us to create your stand-out campaign.

Get in touch

M

an Bites Dog has been awarded a Gold rating by EcoVadis for excellence in sustainability management, placing the consultancy in the top 5% of companies assessed by the platform.

EcoVadis, which provides sustainability assessments and benchmarking to more than 125,000 businesses across the world, assesses organisations against a range of dimensions, including environmental, labour and human rights, and ethics and sustainable procurement.

Man Bites Dog’s Gold rating demonstrates advanced business processes and management systems across the spectrum of ESG. This includes a robust environmental management system, which is certified by ISO 14001, and a commitment to running an ethical, inclusive business.

Mary Maher, Man Bites Dog’s Managing Director, said:

“This Gold award is the culmination of years of assessment, review and improvement from our operations team and the wider business, ensuring that we continue to operate sustainably and improve our business practices, in line with our environmental commitment.

Over the last year, one of our key focus areas has been the sustainability of our supply chain, which was noted as an area of considerable improvement by EcoVadis.

We’re very proud to receive the Gold rating as a mark of our ongoing commitment to sustainability, and we continue to work on improving our environmental impact.”

A handwritten note saying "I quit" lying on a green surface surrounded by desk equipment.

Much attention has been paid recently to “the great resignation” – the pandemic-inspired talent exodus. It’s a phenomenon causing headaches for companies across the business spectrum – companies that aren’t sophisticated enough when it comes to delivering the new working models employees demand.

This sudden talent shift has eroded value from otherwise commercially-sound businesses, for no reason other than their failure to fully recognise that people want to work in different ways than they did three years ago.

You might say, “this stemmed from a global pandemic, it’s a unique situation”. But there’s a far-reaching lesson here: employees have become powerful activists within their businesses – underestimate them at your peril.

Green ultimatum

Nowhere is this employee activism more apparent than when it comes to companies’ sustainability strategies. Man Bites Dog conducted research among 10,000 employees across the globe and found that close to half (43%) of employees would leave their job if the company they worked for was not obviously working to reduce its carbon emissions.

At a time when talent scarcity is already on the boardroom agenda, those numbers are certainly a concern, but they’re also an opportunity.

For progressive businesses struggling to recruit, it underlines the importance of sustainability to an employer brand. Meanwhile, businesses who’ve put sustainability on the backburner in favour of near-term growth need to know that the grass is greener on the other side, and their employees will be tempted away. Much of the value they add will depart with them, putting that near-term growth back under threat.

Go green or go home

Perhaps most importantly of all, these statistics starkly illustrate that any business lacking a defined, well-communicated sustainability strategy is acting against its own interests. With pressure from investors pushing down on organisations, and pressure from employees pushing up, there’s no longer any space for laggards.

Those of us with the task of communicating our firm’s sustainability strategy and wider environmental influence within the asset management industry find ourselves right at the centre of a Venn diagram. We are directly beholden to these two activist groups at the same time: employees and investors. But through that central position, we also have an unmatched opportunity to influence the fate of not only our own businesses but the wide range of businesses that we channel investment into.

The option to sit on the sidelines and see what happens no longer remains. Sustainability is here to stay, but the opportunity to differentiate is becoming elusive as the bandwagon gets crowded. Firms must go further than ever before, they must take a stand and truly mean it, backing up their intentions with evidence of progress and commitment. They need to find increasingly creative ways to communicate their unique strengths in a way that stands out.

It’s a vast and complex challenge that each firm must face up to with its own bespoke, carefully crafted communications strategy. For those who succeed, there will be spoils – and a planet on which to enjoy them. For those who don’t try, the cost will be astronomical.

Campaign

The Gender Say Gap

For some years now, we have been campaigning to close The Gender Say Gap, a term we coined to highlight the invisibility of women and diverse leaders as expert authorities in business and public life.

View Campaign

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    Insights, Sustainability, Sustainability and ESG, Technology, Technology, Thought leadership

    Webinar | Tech Positive: Marketing in the Green Economy

    This technology marketing masterclass – hosted by Man Bites Dog’s Head of Technology Division Fiona Buckley and featuring Patrick Cassleman, Senior Director, Sustainability Center of Excellence at Intel and Man Bites Dog CEO Claire Mason...

    Read more
    Built environment, infrastructure and engineering, Energy and resources, Insights, Sustainability

    Watch our webinar for tips on navigating B2B sustainability marketing communications

    In our webinar, ‘Much Ado About Greenhushing’, Man Bites Dog’s Divisional Director, Duncan Sparke, and Associate Director, Sean Farrance-White, were joined by industry experts Miles Lockwood, from the Advertising Standards Authority, and John Batten, from...

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    Insights, Sustainability, Sustainability and ESG, The Future of Work

    The Green Resignation

    Much attention has been paid recently to “the great resignation” – the pandemic-inspired talent exodus. It’s a phenomenon causing headaches for companies across the business spectrum – companies that aren’t sophisticated enough when it comes...

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