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The feel-good factor: how to communicate your sustainability credentials

There is a growing body of evidence that customers are increasingly favouring ethical businesses in their buying decisions.

For example, according to a 2021 Deloitte study, nearly 1 in 3 consumers claimed to have stopped purchasing certain brands and products because they had ethical or sustainability related concerns about them. The same study showed that 32% of consumers are highly engaged with adopting a more sustainable lifestyle.

There are a lot of things the smallest of businesses can do to make sustainability gains, from getting selective about suppliers and offsetting emissions to greening workspaces and cutting commuting.

However, when it comes to reaping the commercial benefit of these initiatives, it’s equally important to make sure your customers know that you are an environmentally conscientious business – so here are our tips on how to communicate your sustainability gains.

Seek certification

While a good communication plan goes some way to getting your message across, when it comes to letting customers know how sustainable your business is, there is no better way than securing a well-respected third-party accreditation.

Some of these accreditation brands have become extremely widely recognised, such as Energy Star and Fairtrade, and consumers trust these brands when it comes to vetting sustainability claims.

Also widely recognised are the ISO 14000 Environmental Management System certifications. However, these schemes can involve significant expense and may not be appropriate for the smallest businesses. However, schemes like the Green Accord offer a more affordable alternative that might appeal to very small companies looking for a well-known badge for green credentials.

Be transparent

Consumers are increasingly keen to understand the origins of the products and services they buy and they want to be reassured that they are ethical.

Review your online presence and customer communications to see if there is more you could be doing to provide this information.

This might be as simple as adding a ‘sustainability’ section to your website, collating and explaining any green initiatives you have carried out as a business.

Make sustainability a selling point

If you have invested in making sure the products or services you offer are sustainable, be sure to mention it when you sell to customers.

Do you donate a certain percentage of your profits to environmental initiatives? Do you offset the carbon emissions from the energy your business uses? Do you use sustainable raw materials in your products? If so, these are all potential selling points for today’s ethical consumer and they might just give you the edge over the competition.

Keep it real

When presented with the raw numbers, it’s hard to visualise and contextualise 50kg or a tonne of CO2 gas.

So, if you’re talking about the gains your business has made, always look to make it easy to understand. Talk about the equivalent in air miles or boiling cups of tea for example.

If you have sustainability data you want to get across, consider visual ways you can display it to make it more impactful and memorable. A picture tells a thousand words.

Find out more about how EcoPro could help you print greener.

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