How To Sell Sustainability

Sustainability is a must-have for businesses nowadays, but unfortunately, not everyone sees it like that. When trying to embed sustainability within your business, you may have to make a business case for it to management, investors, or even fellow employees. But how do you do this, and where do you start?

To help, here are five things to keep in mind for when you have to sell sustainability.

Tap into company core beliefs

When approaching leadership with your latest sustainability objectives, it’s crucial to go armed with data and tactical plans. But first, take a step back and remind them of the company’s values and mission. By using those touchpoints as ways to discuss the part that sustainability can play in meeting the company’s multi-faceted mission, you are more likely to successfully engage management in deeper, more tactical conversations.

Show them the metrics

At some point, business discussions about sustainability must move beyond emotional conversations about people and the planet to sophisticated metrics that can be measured in the spreadsheets that hold the most weight with management, shareholders and investors. So, frame it in a way that the money-minded will appreciate.

Footprint reporting, for example, can provide insight into a company’s reliance on fossil fuels and its high degree of price volatility. Rather than just paying the electric bill, it can open eyes to parts of the business they hadn’t previously considered.

Rethink ROI

Finances don’t necessarily have to be the most compelling factor in ROI. Think outside the box when pitching a new sustainability initiative. How might it impact long-term brand value or relevance? Or customer loyalty? All of these things are important when it comes to future growth and success.

Make Your Workforce Climate Positive

Join the movement of businesses reducing their footprint, repairing the planet, and regiving to a good cause.

Employ the employee factor

People increasingly want their work to make a difference. When employees have a shared belief in the cause, they are empowered to help the company achieve its objectives. A company committed to sustainability can be extremely attractive to jobseekers, and arming current employees with additional skills and competencies tied to sustainability can help them accelerate their careers, keep them in the company and contribute to the business’s bottom line. On top of that, successfully implementing any sustainability strategy will also involve having a sustainability culture that runs throughout the entire company.

Go big, and don’t be afraid to fail

Be ambitious with your sustainability goals and be brave in sharing them with the public. As long as you are transparent in what you have tried and how you plan to go forward, most people will respect that. And your failures may still achieve more than others’ successes.

Go big with your scope by involving every employee and stakeholder, and go big with your reach by involving others outside your company. Educate, advocate and collaborate. You shouldn’t be afraid to work with other companies and NGOs towards common goals and to learn from each other.

Overall, when going to higher-ups with sustainability proposals, the most important thing to keep in mind is how this will benefit your business specifically. Know your values, and use the research out there to back up your case.

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