Sustainability is everywhere, from products, and advertising campaigns to annual reporting.
In 2023, a sustainable business is expected to consider the impact of its operations and products on the planet and society and strive to minimize negative impacts while maximizing positive contributions. This can include practices such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, using renewable energy, implementing sustainable supply chain management, and promoting fair labor practices. Additionally, sustainable businesses are expected to be transparent in their actions and communicate their sustainability efforts to stakeholders.
Why is important to communicate?
Communicating sustainability is important because it helps to raise awareness about environmental and social issues and the actions that individuals and organizations can take to address them. Effective communication can also build support for sustainable practices and policies and encourage individuals and organizations to act. Additionally, clear, and transparent communication about sustainability can help to build trust and credibility with stakeholders and the public.
We are witnessing a shift in quantity, not the quality of communications about sustainability. Providing information can raise awareness, but it is unlikely to lead to either attitude or behavior change. More time, money, and effort are invested in sustainability than ever before. Sustainability it always calls for change in thinking and more importantly in action, and it's hard to shift people's mentality when there’s often no immediate benefit to them.
Companies are speaking about it, but are they doing so in a way that is making people act?
Here are 3 effective ways to Successfully Communicate Sustainability in 2023:
1. Target your audience. Targeting a specific audience with a defined message is often more effective – and cheaper – than raising awareness on a grand scale through advertising.
2. Make it personal. Understanding what motivates an audience is the first step in knowing what your message is. People are motivated to participate and play a role in what is going on around them, giving them a voice and choice opportunities.
3. Solution-based communication. If you are seeking people’s engagement in sustainable practices, then you should aim for attitude or behavior change. Correlate your campaign with existing policies or present solutions. Communication without infrastructure should be avoided - for example, it is not effective to encourage people to recycle if they do not have easy access to recycling facilities.
Author: Nicoleta Talpes
Entrepreneur, strategic communications expert, sustainability communication strategist, and international advisor for companies, NGOs, and startups.