How can sustainability be communicated beyond clichés and greenwashing?
— 31 experts shared their view
Both clichés and greenwashing are amongst the biggest traps to fall into when communicating sustainability. A "let's save the world" claim and tacky towel policy stickers are superficial and unappealing and could be a turn-off to the small group of environmentally and socially-conscious consumers. Green certification and lengthy, detailed corporate sustainability reports may (potentially) be of interest to a small niche group of highly activist consumers, who may not buy into that type of corporate hospitality in any case. However, there is a growing number of informed travelers: Those in search of genuine wellbeing and meaningful experiences at no (or as little as possible) cost to the planet. What works and what doesn't work in communicating sustainability? Any recommendations in regard to communication entering this critical decade?
Managing Director at blueContec GmbH
Communicating sustainability is often done first, but it's actually the last stop on the journey to the destination sustainability. Being sustainable comes before communicating sustainability if you want to avoid the greenwashing trap. There are only two ways out of this trap: You are very honest and openly communicate the process based on your serious efforts and you put the order right: Communication starts from inside to outside. Focus on yourself, your employees, your suppliers first before communicating with your customers.
This world is more transparent than ever and if you focus on your employees and suppliers this, in turn, will support and ensure exactly the communication you are looking for: Namely, the communication of your customers about your exemplary sustainable behaviors and performance of yourself, of your employees and your suppliers. This is truly authentic and will create a trustful image if you focus on your sustainable customer touchpoints, which exemplary highlight your professional and deep-rooted sustainable processes and performance. Openly invite your customers to your sustainability journey and let them be your ambassador, let them instead of you communicate your sustainable story. This is the champions league of communication.