How to communicate sustainability

So your company has been making great strides to improve its environmental and social performance. But how do you go about letting the world know about it?

So your company has been making great strides to improve its environmental and social performance. But how do you go about letting the world know about it?

Communicating your company’s positive impact can be fraught with obstacles. Not to mention that only 20% of shoppers trust brand sustainability claims according to a report by Compare Ethics.

Greenwashing has certainly taken its toll on consumer trust, but how can companies with genuine intentions mitigate allegations of greenwashing and communicate their green credentials effectively?

After all, well-crafted communications can unlock huge benefits and transform sustainability into a competitive advantage.

It starts with transparency

Greenwashing simply can't thrive in an atmosphere that embraces transparency. When the marketing of sustainable products or services is open and explicit, it prevents exaggeration and provides evidence.

Companies hoping to garner trust should also own up to their pitfalls (not just triumphs), which can go a long way in gaining the respect of today’s shoppers.

So how do you go about being transparent? Third party accreditation is a good place to start. According to Compare Ethics, 83% of shoppers would be more likely to trust a product’s sustainability claim if it had been verified by a third party.

Our own ethy accreditation process provides expert assurance that a company has met a set of robust criteria through evidence-led assessment.

Keep it simple

Sustainability is a huge and complex topic, which can overwhelm people unless you keep things simple. While it may be tempting to include every possible piece of information around your sustainability endeavours, the everything-no-filter approach rarely leads to effective reporting. Focus on the metrics that are most important to your company and target audience.

A picture paints a thousand words, and so we developed a way to communicate company-wide sustainability in just that - one picture. We call it the Impact Hive:

Made up of proof-earned trust marks, the Impact Hive provides an overview of your company’s sustainability story in a consumer-friendly format.

Make it positive

The climate crisis is depressing enough without constant reminders of the doom and gloom scenario. Positive messages can make sustainability-related behaviours feel more accessible and less scary. Through uplifting messaging and imagery, companies can inspire collective action and install a sense of empowerment.

At ethy, this is something we’ve carried through within our own brand DNA and embrace within our own communications around sustainability. Even something as trivial as our choice of colours play a role here!

Understand your audience

Audiences for sustainability communications are becoming increasingly diverse, as the wider public is taking a greater interest into sustainability. These varied stakeholders want different things from sustainability communications. While some might be focused on societal impact, others may be more concerned with the environment and preservation of nature.

You’ll need to identify what each of your stakeholders want and how best to tailor your sustainability communications to meet their specific needs.

Don’t be afraid to get help

To reiterate, effective sustainability communications is a no easy feat. Consumer trust is at an all time low while brand loyalty has never been more important.

This is where we come in! It’s time to proof-back your environmental and social efforts through ethy and use our pioneering communication solutions to spread the word in a credible way.

Click here to speak to us today.

Subscribe to ethy insights newsletter

Stay up to date on the latest industry news, research, blogs, events, and webinars. Tell us a little bit about yourself to help us deliver the information you care about.

Sustainability simplified.

Explore how ethy can maximise the value of your sustainability efforts.