It is crucial for companies to communicate sustainability only after they were able to successfully implement their strategies, which today isn't as obvious as it might sound, due to greenwashing.
According to World Economic Forum, sustainability communication is a fairly hard thing to do because of the fact that most big companies have to do it, whether they want to or not, which might make some people suspicious about the true purpose behind the reports.
Also, due to its increase in popularity in recent years, sustainability has become a very discussed subject among companies and consumers as well, and not everyone is well prepared in order to differentiate between legitimate sustainability claims and misinformation, also known as greenwashing.
1. Sustainability calls for change, both in action, but also in mentality, which often times might come without an immediate benefit or might even require a significant effort.
2. Sustainability must be backed by science and facts, both when it comes to why we need it, but also when it comes to its progress.
3. A very important step when it comes to efficient sustainability communication is being transparent both when you're doing great, but also when you've encountered challenges and where you might want to work some more to improve. This is one of the ways you can gain the trust of customers and also investors.
4. Being engaging and encouraging customers to take part in the change is also an important element, since they will feel empowered to change the world for good through what might seem like a small choice in some cases.
5. Sustainability communication also has educational purposes, so making it easy to understand for everyone is key.
Try to use easy to understand units of measurement and make reports as interesting and interactive as possible, by comparing a renewable energy project to the energy consumption of a city, for example.
Again, it is important that you back sustainability claims with facts and data, which will make everything more credible in the eyes of consumers and investors.
6. You should also present the positive side of things more than the negative one, as hard as it might be sometimes, since sustainability's popularity came as climate change got worse.
Underlining the positive side shows that there are still things that can be done in order to help the environment and, at the same time, us.
Ultimately, sustainability communication should become part of all companies and, most importantly, it should be honest.
These days, too many companies are greenwashing, whether that means exaggerating claims or straight up lying about sustainability efforts, which can be dangerous for these corporations, but also for consumers and the environment.
After all, the purpose of sustainability is improving the world's well-being, not attracting more income in the company at any cost.