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How to build a sustainability communication strategy

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Define objectives

• Assess your impact and what matters to your company and stakeholders. Establish where you need to make a difference.

• Clarify your aims. For example, mitigating reputational risk, campaigning for change, differentiating from the competition, showcasing sustainable success, educating communities.
• Get to know your audience your customers, employees, media, investors,
regulators, public, supply chain and other stakeholders. What matters to them?


Craft messages

• Create messages that highlight sustainability initiatives, achievements and goals.

• Align messaging with company values, brand purpose and company strategy.

Choose  channels

• Select the communications channels that reach the target audience most efficiently.

• Maximise a mix of off- and online channels including website content, social media, press releases and sustainability reports.

• Consider partnerships with media outlets, influencers, community organisation and associations.

Create content

• Create compelling, authentic content that highlights the company’s journey by focusing on past, present and future.

• Showcase case histories and success stories.

• Benchmark successes and be transparent about continuous improvement using data where possible.

• Consider a range of multimedia formats such as video, infographics, white papers or microsites.

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Green Fields

Ensure credibility

• Transparency must be the foundation of all communications.

• Provide data to benchmark progress.

• Provide third party certification where appropriate.

• Use external third-party organisations to benchmark data.

• Highlight third-party testimonials.

• Be responsive to criticism and feedback where appropriate.

Inspire colleagues

• Provide training and resources to inspire sustainability champions.

• Offer platforms to share expertise and experience to inspire continuous improvement.

• Recognise and reward sustainability achievements.

Establish partnerships

• Engage or establish organisations that can amplify key sustainability aims.

• Work with non-profit organisations to maximise impact.

• Connect and engage with local communities and suppliers to collaborate on sustainability initiatives.

Measure success

Establish key performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of the communications strategy.

• Track most relevant metrics such as stakeholder perception, brand sentiment, website traffic or social media engagement.

• Conduct regular evaluations to assess impact.

• Keep updated with market changes to maximise opportunities and minimise risks.

• Continuously monitor the sustainability landscape for communication opportunities.

Forest Path

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