Marketing and Communications

Storytelling Plays a Vital Role in Communicating Sustainable Value To Investors

[This is a great article by Carolyn McMaster of Thinkshift Communications. The issue of communicating sustainable value to investors is a very complex nut to crack BUT with the proper communication strategy it can be accomplished. Join me at the upcoming TSSS event on Feb 5 (Bay/Wall St. and Sustainability) to explore this complex issue, Philip Haid of PUBLIC Inc.]

Communication

Increasingly investors see sustainability as an opportunity and a business advantage, but most also say companies don’t successfully communicate how “sustainability initiatives are linked to their strategy, financial performance and value in meaningful ways.”

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Carbon Neutral Wines – it’s more than just Green Marketing

Santa Margherita Pinot GrigioWhen you see a product that says carbon neutral, what does it mean?

I recently enjoyed a bottle of Italy’s number one selling wine in Canada, Santa Margherita’s Pinot Grigio. Each bottle has a green label that says “Carbon neutral from ground to store. Measured and offset with Carbonzero”. It is produced in Italy, imported into Canada by Lifford Wine, and certified by Carbonzero as carbon neutral. I investigate its Italian supply chain and production, shipping to Canada, and sales and consumption in Canada to learn what it means to be carbon neutral.

Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to balancing carbon released with an equivalent amount of offset. Claiming carbon neutrality generally involves three steps: measure, reduce, offset.

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CSR Communication Goal Should be Impact, not Information

impactI’m a big believer that through business and brands we have the ability to create positive social impact. It is the reason why I’m such an advocate for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in all forms. Especially when it comes to efforts that have been transformative, not just improvements to standard industry practice. CSR has evolved to become a significant ingredient and investment for business health and growth. It is why I’ve come to expect even more of CSR communication, and why business and society should as well. Too many CSR communication efforts today strive for the minimum, creating “just enough” of a reaction to get noticed by shareholders, employees, and the pubic. But what good are such investments if they fail to raise support for the social issues advocated? Or fail to connect CSR issues beyond niche interest?

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Keep the spotlight on the the true hero – 3 tips for telling your sustainability story.

Hero

It’s tempting enough for brands to want to talk about themselves – even truer when they are doing something good.

In today’s radically transparent social business marketplace, the reputation of a company extends way beyond its marketing to include its supply chain, manufacturing processes, employee treatment and customer engagement.

Likewise, full circle sustainability requires that companies overhaul how they source their ingredients, manufacture and distribute their products, and manage the waste they generate. Both of these realities place higher demands on time-poor executives and entrepreneurs, yet too many fail to recoup the costs of such efforts because they don’t share their sustainability story effectively.

In fact, almost all companies are guilty of three key mistakes that mean these investments of time, money and energy never build their brand or bottom line.

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Have companies forgotten how to create genuine wellbeing? Do old marketing tactics miss the mark?

Genuine-stamp-GreenEarlier this month at the Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego, gDiapers CEO, Jason Graham-Nye said: “I think sustainability is like fight club. The first rule of fight club is don’t talk about fight club. The first rule of sustainability is the word is so dead.”

And he’s not alone. In one of the conference events, Raphael Bemporad – co-founder and chief strategy officer at BBMG and Tensie Whelan, president of Rainforest Alliance – presented a new report entitled The New Sustainability Narrative, which tries to address the following problem:

Sustainability doesn’t mean anything real to consumers. Too often, it brings to mind technical issues or seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges.

“Sustainability doesn’t mean anything real to consumers. Too often, it brings to mind technical issues or seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges.”

I guess this problem statement shouldn’t be surprising news to anyone involved in or following the many efforts to engage consumers in sustainability.  The issue it raises has long become the Achilles’ heel of the sustainability movement, making companies wonder what on earth can be done to get consumers on board.

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