Presentation on theme: "The New Sustainability Frontier: Transparent & Legitimate Forms of Green Communication Lisa Geason-Bauer Evolution Marketing, llc."— Presentation transcript:
The New Sustainability Frontier: Transparent & Legitimate Forms of Green Communication Lisa Geason-Bauer Evolution Marketing, llc
Why are we talking about green communication/ marketing at Energy Summit? -world is changing -how business is done is changing -new normal (post 2009) -hyper-transparency / rise of social media
Greenwashing is the unjustified appropriation of environmental virtue by a company, industry, government, politician or non- government organization to create a pro- environmental image, sell a product or a policy or to try and rehabilitate their standing with the public and decision makers. Many times occurs after being embroiled in a controversy.
Take one Hummer, the most environmentally unfriendly personal vehicle known to man. Plaster it with images of glistening green leaves and phrases like ‘EcoSmart’, which just happens to be the name of your company.
Deception breeds Consumer backlash Cone 2011 Green Gap Trend Tracker Research found…. Consumers who feel misled by an environmental claim may punish the brand. They will … -Stop buying – 71% -Boycott the product – 37% -Do nothing – 11%
According to new research from Mintel for the report Green Marketing in Finance, 2011, 72% of respondents said they “feel good about working with a financial services firm that invests in companies that are looking at eco-solutions.” However, the data also shows a certain measure of cynicism, as almost half of respondents state that they believe that a company that claims to be green is just trying to promote a better image for itself. Mintel Press Release -
Why should my business be concerned? We are engaging in or are selling legitimately “green” products or services
How are you demonstrating your environmental claims? Research slides taken from 2011 Cone Green Gap Trend Tracker – Fact Sheet
Result = Consumers are confused about environmental claims due to… (1)Being bombarded by general eco-claims / messages (2)Because the products are marketed/branded (with great images, but no eco- substance) (3)Not understanding the language used by environmental scientists
Solution Give consumers what they want
59% of respondents said it was acceptable for companies to use general environmental claims such as “green” or “environmentally friendly” in their marketing ONLY IF THE COMPANY BACKS UP THE CLAIM WITH ADDITIONAL DETAIL ! 2011 Cone Green Gap Trend Tracker – Fact Sheet
Steps your business can take…. (1) Define sustainability within your business or organization FOTODYNE Inc. defined sustainability in terms of their products and specifically within their supply chain. They went as far as to design their products based on WI suppliers
“Embrace sustainability –defined as acting today so that future generations can meet their needs and enjoy long-term markets for your products, while safeguarding the sources of raw materials on which your very business depends.” J.Ottman’s “The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools, and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding” published 2011
Step 2 Measure sustainability within your organization. Choose metric's that fit your culture/business model. EX. City of Oconomowoc is a Tree City, when analyzing their carbon footprint a key metric they decided on was to monitor/measure their street tree population
Step 3 Use independent third party certifications to help your business bench mark environmental claims EX. LEED certifications (buildings), USDA Organic certification (agriculture), EPA Green Power partner (for renewable energy generators), Forest Stewardship Council certified paper (printing/wood)
Step 4 Educate the different audiences regarding your organizations sustainability initiatives. employee’s, shareholders & suppliers EX. Miron Construction & Cool Choices iChoose game
Step 5 *Share with your clients/customers the steps being taken by your business on the road to sustainability in a transparent manner (i.e. publish your metrics) *Be honest about where your organization is and about the steps you are taking to move it forward.
WI Resources WI Sustainable Business Council Green Maters Program WI DNR’s Green Tier Program Evolution Marketing website “Resources Tab”