World Panel
Viewpoint24 January 2020

How can sustainability be communicated beyond clichés and greenwashing?

Sustainability in Hospitality

— 31 experts shared their view

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This viewpoint was created by
Franziska Altenrath, Co-Founder at TUTAKA
Henri Kuokkanen
Associate Professor at Institut Paul Bocuse

CSR communication is delicate, with a range of poor examples evident in the past. The rules of non-CSR communication, targeted at building brand recognition or customer loyalty, do not always apply. Recent research underlines important characteristics of CSR communication that can impact consumer choice. First, consumers do not necessarily prefer proactive CSR. Reactive initiatives may also nudge their choices, and thus communication does not have to focus only on proactivity. Second, it is essential to provide evidence that is externally verified by a credible third party. This alleviates the fear of greenwashing or greenhushing and helps to deliver an effective message. As a result, solid evidence of CSR initiatives that react to a situation may be more compelling to customers than promises of future actions that cannot be yet verified.

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