How To Approach Sustainability Authentically – A Beginners Guide

Sustainable Change Is Happening

Since Covid, there has been a rapid increase in the number of businesses focusing on sustainable change.

Whether due to the demands from consumers and employees (according to research by Deloitte there has been an upsurge in sustainable behaviour) or down to legislation from above, businesses are making the change.

According to a Forbes survey, more than eight out of 10 C-level leaders intend to step up their companies’ environmental sustainability efforts during the coming year. 

The statistics support the idea that if you’re not accelerating your sustainability journey, you’re falling behind.

What Are C-Level Leaders Saying About Sustainable Change?

Forbes C-level survey found that 51% of C-level leaders are pushing environmental sustainability goals at the top of their agenda, a figure unheard of pre-Covid.

The research also demonstrated that 65% of C-level leaders believe that climate change poses a great risk to their business and if they don’t act, they will lose the trust of their stakeholders and investors.

Finally, a huge 71% of C-level leaders stated that having environmental sustainability at the core of their business will give their company a competitive advantage.

This shows that sustainability is being taken seriously. 

It’s not just a marketing tool or a fad, it’s a new way of doing business and it’s rapidly becoming a key to success.

Commit To The Journey

To be authentic about anything you have to commit to it!

But rather than viewing sustainability as a huge overnight change, you should see it as a journey which like any other, has lots of small steps.

The hardest step of any journey is the first one. Just like going to the gym, it gets put off, and excuses get made, but once you take that first step, the journey is started!

Making a commitment statement on your website is a great way to put your sustainability journey in the public domain and engage your team, followers and consumers in your actions.

Appoint A Sustainability Champion

As with any journey, you need a map reader – someone that can guide the company.

That person doesn’t have to be an expert in geography, topography and the like – they need to be someone that likes map reading or in this case, sustainability.

The trick to getting sustainability right is to project manage the journey, make sure you have policies and a framework in place and have one person lead the way.

There is expert support out there to help you on the way – from Carbon Literacy training to footprint reporting.

Everything you need to make your business sustainable is out there and by having a champion to lead the journey, your business can be sure that it’s on the right path.

Be The Change You Want To See

Every great marketing campaign influences attitudes and changes behaviours.

With that in mind, waiting for the world to change and not starting your sustainability journey is no longer the right thing to do.

As a business, by incorporating a sustainability strategy into your everyday business practice, and marketing it correctly, you can influence positive sustainable change, both in your consumers and within your internal teams.

As Alexandra Pal, CEO of the L’Oreal Foundations said: “We have to change consumer behaviours…so we have to be capable to create the desire for sustainability.”

Expand Your Focus And Impact

Conscious businesses are more attractive to the largest consumer and employee markets, the Gen Zs and Millennials.

Business success is no longer just about profit and shareholders, it’s about the needs of the employees and consumers and the needs of the communities they serve.

“If a company does want to grow, but in a very responsible way, it has to own issues beyond itself. It has to look at what the community needs before it can actually be a successful business and solve what the community is telling it is the real issue.” said Beatriz Perez, the SVP at The Coca-Cola Company.

To grow your brand value look to serve the communities linked with your business and the investment will not only do good but make your team and customers feel empowered through association with your actions.

Communicate Your Journey With Transparency

Everything starts with transparency and integrity.

When communicating your sustainability journey, if you show integrity and transparency, you build trust and encourage change in others.

By setting examples and clearly and honestly demonstrating your goals, your wins and even your learning experiences, you avoid greenwashing and by changing the culture of your business, you influence your consumers and competitors in a positive way.

If your staff can see the journey and feel part of it, they feel empowered, happier and more engaged with your goals as a business.

Communicating your journey also helps attract and retain better team members.

If your customers can see the journey, they trust and respect you more, it adds value to your brand and increases engagement and sales.

Having a carbon reduction plan, a sustainability policy and a sustainability webpage and producing honest content around the subject is now not just good for the planet, it’s good for business.

Play It Green provides the tools to help businesses like yours to reduce their footprint, whilst having an environmental impact through tree planting and a social impact through regiving.

If you want to find out more, head over to our business pages or you can sign up today using the button below.

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