Sustainability communication

More businesses should demonstrate how they contribute to socially, financially and environmentally sustainable development.

We believe that sustainability communication contributes to positive social development. A business that talks about its sustainability work strengthens its brand, inspires others and drives sustainability work forward.

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Hanna Berheim Brudin

10 tips on sustainability communication

Here are Westander’s 10 tips on sustainability communication.

1

Avoid greenmuting

Some businesses hide their green credentials for fear of criticism. Businesses that instead talk openly about their sustainability work strengthen their brand, inspire others and drive sustainability work forward.

2

Get started

Do not wait until you are completely satisfied and 100 percent sustainable before communicating. If you do, you will never get started. A clear direction and honest ambitions create trust and inspire others.

3

Formulate your sustainability

Formulate what sustainability means to your company and why it is important. You can take guidelines, principles and global targets as your starting point, but link them to the opportunities and challenges faced by your particular business.

4

Dig where you stand

Do not confuse sustainability with charity. Sustainability work should start with your core operations, and should characterise everything you do.

5

Involve more people

Encourage your employees, customers and partners to contribute. Benefit from their involvement to make your company’s sustainability work even better.

6

Demonstrate social benefit

Explain how your sustainability work contributes to positive social development. This strengthens internal understanding and makes your operations more relevant to others.

7

Explain what you do

Keep explaining what you do when it comes to sustainability, whether on a small or large scale. Set measurable targets and publicise the results. This shows that you take these issues seriously.

8

Report your sustainability work

A sustainability report should demonstrate both how sustainable your operations are and which challenges you face. Map out where work remains to be done, and invite questions and opinions.

9

Keep it simple

Always strive to describe your work as simply and comprehensibly as possible. Avoid jargon, technical details and abbreviations.

10

Be open

Openness is the best way to build credibility. Also talk about the less positive aspects of your operations and what you are doing in concrete terms to rectify them.