Green marketing strategy – How to communicate your green credentials like a pro

green-marketing

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Nowadays your environmental credentials can be a strong communicator of your brand and a unique selling point.

If you are planning or already going green at work then a green marketing strategy is key!

Without one you risk losing out on important opportunities to impressive your customers and prospects.

The truth is many companies fail to communicate effectively the actions that they have taken to improve their environmental performance. They either under communicate their key green messages or worse, make claims that can’t be substantiated (also know as greenwash)

In this article we illustrate key green marketing considerations that will ensure that you communicate your green credentials like a pro and ensure you win over the hearts and minds of your customers and prospects.

Five green marketing strategy considerations

No 1. Sustainability is a journey, not a destination

It is very seldom that you see an organisation go from poor environmental practices to market leading results.

No, in most cases improvements are incremental.

An organisation may start with basic recycling, move onto reduced energy consumption, expand into investment for local communities and eventually embed sustainability into products or services.

No 2. The key to creating a compelling marketing pitch is to tell this story

In telling the story it is critical that the message is factual, relevant and substantiated.

The reason why this is so important is because any misleading messages could be seen as greenwash, which will be damaging for your reputation and brand (read our article on greenwash to find out more).

Using clear facts and figures (i.e. our carbon footprint is x; our business operates a zero to landfill waste system) is a great approach.

No 3. Where possible avoid technical terms or jargon

Terms like environmentally friendly and carbon neutral are nebulous and difficult to understand. They can easily misinterpreted and should therefore be avoided.

Instead of using technical terms or jargon, try use plain English to explain what you have done as an organisation. For example if you are claiming carbon neutrality you might state

“We have an active carbon management system. We measure our carbon footprint annually and have taken a number proactive steps to reduce our footprint by 20% over the past 2 years. We have recently started purchasing certified carbon credits to offset our residual emissions to effectively zero. We see ourselves as a carbon neutral company that continues to look at innovative ways in which we can reduce our carbon emissions without having to purchase carbon credits.” 

To find out more on carbon management and neutrality strategies see this article.

No 4. Choose one of two types of messages

In general there are two types of messages that you can send.

The first and most common is about the good environmental performance of your business. This usually covers things like improvements in operational performance measures (i.e. over the last two years we have implemented a full environmental management system, reduced our waste by 40% and our carbon footprint by 10%). This type of message is good for awareness building and providing evidence when responding to tenders.

The second type of message is more closely aligned to the traditional marketing approach.

Here you might have a product or service that has sustainability characteristics that you would like to highlight as key attributes for a customer (i.e. Our widget is manufactured from 100% recycled material).

If the marketing message you want to send is of the second type it is important that you have at least first got your own house in order. It wouldn’t be very credible to preach the environmental benefits of your product or service when your overall operation is dismal

No 5. The most compelling marketing messages are concise and to the point

The message should fit comfortably on an A4 page.

Here’s wishing you the best of luck with using your environmental achievements to stir up some more well deserved work!!

Please feel free to leave any comments.

Further reading recommendations

Are dryers or hand towels more eco-friendly? Recycled paper or FSC-certified? And what’s the greenest company car? The Green Guide for Business answers all these questions and hundreds more, enabling businesses and organisations of all sizes to make eco-savvy decisions. The Green Guide For Business: The Ultimate Environment Handbook for Businesses of All Sizes

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Our staff writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them – their passion for sustainability.

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