But if your organization is working on future-proof growth, there is a good chance that you are not communicating about it yet. Many organizations are rightly cautious because they are not yet where they want to be, and because they are afraid of greenwashing. Consumers will be merciless when your story isn’t sincere. But what can you do if your sustainable ambitions are intrinsic?
1. Make your ambitions tangible and measurable
Sometimes that sustainable end station is a lot further than you want, and you prefer to wait until you have reached that destination before communicating about it. Nevertheless, it is important to be transparent about the concrete steps you have taken and will take. Where will your organization be in 5 years? What steps are you taking to get there? What promises are you making to your users or clients? Your users, customers and partners expect more and more openness from organizations about their share in the sustainable transition, and will therefore leave when there is lack thereof. Don’t make claims you can’t live up to, but keep it close to yourself. That means you also have to communicate about things that are not going well. That way you stay away from greenwashing and your intentions remain not only insightful, but also credible.
2. Majority of consumers base their choice on sustainability
More and more consumers value sustainability when choosing a product. There’s a shift from the old idea of a ‘consumer’ – someone who wants products cheap and quick – to a ‘consuperson’ – someone who buys products based on values. In other words, a holistic approach in which your target group feels more involved and responsible for a better world – also in product choice.
3. Customers as loyal ambassadors due to sustainability
More than half of consumers indicate that they have an emotional connection with products or companies that are sustainable. This is essential when it comes to building a loyal customer base. Besides, you’re creating a growing group of ambassadors, who will tell your story to others for free. No campaign can compete with that.
4. Sustainability is important for your staff
Employees at a sustainable organization feel that they’re contributing to a bigger picture. Not only do they contribute their talent to a better world (and link their own values to the company), it also offers a sense of security. After all, sustainable companies are concerned with the future, which means that the employee’s place within the company feels more secured. It’s also important to communicate about this core value when recruiting new staff: a majority of employees include sustainability in their career choices.