What is Sustainability Marketing?

man speaking about sustainability Marketing

At this point, most people are familiar with the concept of sustainability and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. But what does marketing have to do with any of that?

Well, a lot, actually.

We’re sure your business is doing a lot to nurture diversity and inclusion, strengthen your team and community, efficiently use resources to cut back on waste, improve competitiveness, and address necessary climate action. It’s more than likely that you are doing your best to be a good and responsible corporate citizen.

These days, sustainability is not only good for the environment and social communities; it’s good for the bottom line too. Studies have shown that companies with clear sustainability policies are more attractive to investors, loyal employees, and potential customers.

According to a 2021 McKinsey report, companies can see a 60% reduction in operating costs – thus increased shareholder value – through investments in ESGs.

Another report by KPMG shows that 80% of companies worldwide now report to investors on their sustainability practices.

This virtuous circle is completed in a report by First Insight which shows that around 75% of Gen Z consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products.

Sustainable policies also play a part in recruitment. These days, 49% of employees make choices about where they work based on their employer’s ethical policies according to a report from Deloitte.

Ultimately, sustainability is good business practice and petrochemical companies with strong and evidence-based ESG success see, on average, a 20% increase in valuation premium according to a report by Boston Consulting Group.

But good performance does not necessarily equal good public perception.

You need to make sure that your stakeholders understand your approach. That means you need to tell them. That means you need to incorporate sustainability into your marketing mix.

This can be as simple as telling the stories of your people, policies, and procedures and can take the form of animations, infographics, videos, and more. You may need the help of a good video production agency in Bangkok to get started.

The key is to communicate through compelling and sincere storytelling.

Below are 3 things to consider when getting started with your Sustainability Marketing

Tip 1 – Facts and Proof

Do not polish the story of your environmental impact with exaggerated claims or unofficial “green” or “sustainable” logos. Just don’t do it.

Misrepresenting facts does everyone a disservice, especially you. Today your customers, critical stakeholders, and legal regulators can easily expose false claims like greenwashing, causing severe and long-lasting brand damage.

To enable fact-based communication, you’ll need to connect with sustainability professionals to understand the reality of your environmental and social impact.

Tip 2 – Focus on Core Impact

Focus on the most relevant issues for your business. If you are a major producer, report on your key contributions towards lowering your environmental impact connected to your core production activities (waste, water use, carbon emission, etc.). Don’t champion that you took the train instead of the bus during the annual company outing.

Similarly, suppose you are a prominent service provider with a significant workforce. In that case, you might want to focus on creating equal and inclusive growth opportunities for your employees instead of highlighting the recycling bin in the company canteen.

Tip 3 – Don’t Wait for Perfection

Sustainable transformation is rarely an instant success story. It’s usually a challenging, long-term journey.

Don’t craft an overly optimistic campaign claiming you’ve got it all figured out. Rather, communicate your current imperfections and track your progress. Be humble and authentic when you communicate your journey. Outline the end goals and strategies you will implement to get there. Do champion your achievements, but remember that acknowledging existing shortcomings is a sign of strength and not of weakness.

So, if you are ready to embrace sustainability marketing and need some help tapping into the hottest marketing trend of 2023, reach out to Lexicon.


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