Today, many companies are engaged in sustainable production and business practices. In an ecologically-aware society, it’s important to give your branding a green boost. But how can you communicate about sustainability without resorting to clichés?
When you’re selling to consumers, the advantages of cause-related marketing are clear. By aligning with a popular cause, organizations show that they are good citizens, and at the same time boost the bottom line. Coke and its support of polar bears through the World Wildlife Fund, or the Body Shop, with its long history of supporting activism around the globe, are good examples. Today, more than ever, consumers want to feel good about the products they buy, and the companies they buy from.
We proudly announce that we have been awarded the Charter for Sustainable Entrepreneurship by Voka, the Flemish Employers Association.
There’s more to it than reporting… Consumers prefer sustainable brands, especially millennials. Multiple studies confirm this and we see the evidence every day on newscasts, with coverage of climate-change marches, plogging and beach cleanups. However, consumers’ purchasing patterns lag behind their environmental aspirations. How come? Although there are many ways to explain the gap between stated interests and actual purchasing behavior, one of the main issues seems to be the lack of sustainable products and clear, sustainable marketing stories.
Are you sharing your reporting on your organization’s sustainability activities with your stakeholders? If you are, congratulations – you’ve taken a key step on your sustainability journey. A sustainability report is one way to share your sustainability story with your various stakeholders. However, there’s a lot more that you can do to get the message across – and a lot more value that you can derive from it. Here are six ways you can share your sustainability story more effectively:
Whether you’ve decided to start with sustainability reporting because your company is required to, or because you simply want to share your sustainability story, a good first step is to make sure you understand the regulations that apply to your company, and how they are currently being addressed.
First things first – is your organization already reporting on its sustainability practices? More and more companies are engaging in sustainability reporting, as this study from KPMG demonstrates, for all kinds of reasons. For some it’s now legally mandatory. In Belgium, for example, large enterprises employing more than 500 people are now legally obliged to report on their social and environmental impact. This is in line with EU Directive 2014/95/EU, which stipulates that large companies in member states must now disclose information on their sustainability and diversity practices, effective for financial years beginning on or after January 1, 2017.
If a tree falls in the forest, and there’s nobody there to hear it – does it make a sound? It’s the same for your organization’s sustainability practices. If you’re not actively promoting your sustainability initiatives, you’re missing a key opportunity to strengthen your company’s reputation and perception in the public eye, as well as your corporate valuation.