• Caterina Sullivan

How Can a Business' Sustainability Plan Grab Attention?


A business' sustainability plan can capture an audience's attention for either the wrong reason or the right reason.


At Strategic Sustainability Consultants, we work to help clients grab the attention of their stakeholders and the public for all the right reasons.


Let's look at some of these key ideas.


1. Have a clear vision


It can be confusing when your business' sustainability plan doesn't have a clear vision. If it is muddled between achieving a lot of different goals and doesn't incorporate a common theme throughout, it can be difficult to understand and engage with the process. A clear vision is the best way to capture your audience's attention. We like to use the Global Goals as a way to delineate a succinct vision.


2. Make it relatable


Saving 222,750m2 worth of plastic doesn't grab attention the same way the headline "Company X saves 10 football fields worth of plastic" does. We can often become bogged down in sustainability metrics and data and forget that if we don't convert these to real-life examples, they can be lost on our audience.


3. Collaborate with others


What's more exciting than one business making a commitment to economic, social and environmental sustainability? Two businesses making a commitment! Whether you choose to partner with other profit-earning business, a not-for-profit, a community organisation or a government body, a partnership with another organisation can really grab headlines! Find an organisation with similar values to yours and see where it takes you!


4. Make it meaningful


A commitment to sustainability for the sake of having one doesn't attract attention. A commitment to sustainability requires heart, soul and passion. It is about why your business wants to see a different future, why the individual people behind what you do want to see a change and why you're committed to that change. This isn't just about reaching new audiences and increasing your sales. This is about creating a more sustainable future for all.


5. Get creative


There is nothing worse than a sustainability commitment typed up on letterhead and circulated with very little graphics. Any sustainability document, whether a commitment, a report or even a press release should be eye-catching and well-designed. There should be graphics which can be shared not only in media but on social media platforms as well. Colours and lots of positive imagery go a long way!


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Of course, there are a number of things to avoid doing if you want to stay away from the negative attention too!


The main one in this instance is greenwashing, the exaggeration or misrepresentation of a business' sustainability commitment. As consumers become increasingly aware of greenwashing, more businesses that participate in this practice are at risk of gaining negative traction around their sustainability policies.


Similarly, a lack of consistency in messaging can gain a business poor traction. Earlier this year, an ethical yarn company partnered with a major fashion retailer in order to bring the art of crochet to more people. This partnership backfired quite dramatically as many customers of the company felt that they were betraying their values as an ethical and eco company by partnering with a fashion retailer well-known for using modern slavery tactics to keep their costs low and maximise profits. Consistency is key when it comes to sustainability.


The main motivation behind ensuring your business' sustainability commitment gains traction is to make further impact in your business economically, socially and environmentally. The more people engage with your business, the more you can grow your sustainability practices and the better off the planet and the people who live here! A win-win-win for all.


If you are interested in how you can create an attention-grabbing sustainability commitment, contact Strategic Sustainability Consultants today!


This article was originally published on the Strategic Sustainability Consultants website.