Strengthening your branding and sustainability strategy can bridge the alignment between ESG goals, consumer engagement, and profitability. Read our eco-branding guide to learn how to develop a company’s green initiatives to propel it towards future success.
Addressing key areas of societal concern, Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) has become essential for modern business’ success. Adopting eco-conscious practices not only gives companies a competitive advantage, but also offers customers insights into their operations, and whether or not they uphold their commitments. Consumer behaviour and priorities have transformed significantly over the past years, with many choosing to spend their disposable income on purpose-driven brands and sustainable products that align with their values and expectations.
Companies across the globe are now prioritising environmental conservation and making continued pledges to embrace sustainability and advance their ESG initiatives. Although making such a big transition may seem out of reach for small businesses, adopting a sustainability strategy will drive more definite outcomes by helping you build a secure and recognisable brand image.
Here are 5 ways to effectively build your business’ sustainability strategy and solidify your ESG commitments.
Build a Strong Brand Image
Sustainability branding goes beyond introducing eco-friendly elements and green packaging. Nowadays, when purchasing commodities, consumers are not just buying a product itself, but are supporting what a company stands for, and how it represents their own personal values.
Developing an honest brand image allows customers to understand and validate the reasoning and purpose behind a company, and offers them genuine insight into your business. It is important to remain consistent with your branding, message, and objectives to reinforce your company’s identity.
Whether it is using renewable resources, or upcycling materials in the production process, ensure that all branding materials support your mission and deliver factual information. Transparency and credibility are essential to building customer loyalty, which can ultimately help you capture greater market interest.
“New Eco” Design
The fast-maturing eco-branding movement continues to make pivotal shifts, and has taken a more minimalistic and futuristic turn. The world has entered the “new eco” era, where the use of earth tones and soft shades to signify a brand’s sustainability commitments are now a thing of the past.
Companies are applying this new eco approach to elevate their brand experience, integrating “minimal, aspirational, and futuristic” design elements. The use of striking monochromatic, limited colour palettes, and uncluttered spaces, along with simple yet impactful imagery illustrates the modern aesthetic adopted by many global eco-wellness names, including Japan-founded cosmetics label, PASO A PASO, Singapore’s clean beauty line, Handmade Heroes, and Black Kite Brewery based in Hong Kong.
Localise Supply Chains
Globalised supply chains are one of the major contributors to the business industry’s increasing carbon footprint. While implementing a net-zero supply chain may be a challenge for small businesses, they can keep their operations and production local to amplify their impact.
By shifting their supply chains to their hometowns, companies can source directly from local vendors and producers, which greatly reduces the travel distance and distribution time of their goods and supplies, further helping to minimise greenhouse gas emissions.
Modern consumers are just as concerned about ethicality as with a brand’s social commitments, and are more inclined to spend with companies delivering a transparent overview of where and how their products are made. Localising operations allows companies to closely monitor and ensure sustainability and morality.
Audit Your Energy Usage
Businesses need to revisit their utility usage, and commit to an environmental audit to help them reduce their overall emissions, integrate more sustainable approaches, and alleviate their negative impact on the planet.
Start by evaluating and understanding where and how your energy is being utilised. Analysing physical spaces, such as your offices and other facilities, will give you an idea of whether your current consumption is efficient, and if not, where you could potentially cut down on.
Furthermore, it is paramount to re-evaluate your company’s energy sources beyond your conservation efforts. There are various renewables including solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass, that can easily be installed in existing commercial infrastructures.
Read more: 6 Sustainable Changes for Your Office Space
Share Your Progress and Milestones
Brand value is built on transparency and authenticity. Bringing your employees into the narrative, setting targets, and achieving them collectively as a group, while actively communicating progress and achievements, are among some of the measures businesses can take to encourage their team and develop a sense of unity, propelling further success.
Sharing your progress and big milestones with your community, customers, and shareholders is always beneficial. Publicly displaying your sustainability strategy reflects confidence in your mission, and demonstrates how much you value your network’s opinions and feedback- strengthening your brand loyalty, and securing your position as an eco-conscious brand.