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Promoting Sustainability & Avoiding Greenwashing

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Is the language of sustainability getting in the way? What is the role marketing & PR play in promoting sustainability? What are the benefits & challenges of telling your green story? How do you avoid greenwashing?

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Promoting Sustainability & Avoiding Greenwashing

  1. 1. Promoting SUSTAINABILITY & Avoiding GREENWASHING Webinar March 21, 2017 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST Organized by Niagara Sustainability Initiative Presented by Laura Dunkley
  2. 2. • Language of Sustainability • Marketing vs. Public Relations • Benefits • Challenges & Risks • How to Be Effective • Tips | Telling your Story • Success Stories Promoting SUSTAINABILITY & Avoiding GREENWASHING OVERVIEW
  3. 3. LANGUAGE OF SUSTAINABILITY
  4. 4. GHG Emissions Carbon Offsets Carbon Footprint Circular Economy Cradle-to-Cradle Fair Trade LEED certified Organic Ethically Sourced Environmentally Friendly COMPOSTING REMANUFACTURED
  5. 5. Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. • Social • Economic • Environmental
  6. 6. Greenwashing is a form of corporate misrepresentation where a company will present a green public image and publicize green initiatives that are false or misleading.
  7. 7. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) The responsibility of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behaviour. Ref: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/csr-rse.nsf/eng/h_rs00599.html#s1.2
  8. 8. MARKETING vs. PUBLIC RELATIONS
  9. 9. MARKETING Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.* • Brand Development • Sales Support • Lead Generation • Promotion *American Marketing Society (July, 2013) - https://www.ama.org/AboutAMA/Pages/Definition-of-Marketing.aspx
  10. 10. PUBLIC RELATIONS Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.* • Crisis Communication • Reputation Management • Stakeholder Relationships • Corporate Social Responsibility media *American Marketing Society (July, 2013) - https://www.ama.org/AboutAMA/Pages/Definition -of-Marketing.aspx
  11. 11. INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS mediaInternal communications (IC) is the function responsible for effective communications among participants within an organization. • Team Building • Collaboration • Culture • Education • Policies/Procedures *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_communications /
  12. 12. • MARKETING • PUBLIC RELATIONS • INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS BUSINESS GOALS • Revenue • Retention • Growth • Profitability • Reputation COMMUNICATIONS PLAN • AUDIENCE • WHAT • HOW • TIMELINE • COST • EVALUATION
  13. 13. BENEFITS, CHALLENGES & RISKS
  14. 14. • Champions • Collaboration • Creation (Projects) • Competitive • Culture • Compliant • Creative/Innovative • Crisis WHY Tell your Green Story?
  15. 15. CHALLENGES • Time • Budget • Information • How to share it • Who to tell • What to measure WHY don’t we tell our story?
  16. 16. RISKS & MISSED OPPORTUNITIES • Approval • Revenue • Employees • Volunteers/Donations • Earned Media • Investments
  17. 17. PROMOTING SUSTAINABILITY Best Practices
  18. 18. • Improve Effectiveness • Avoid Greenwashing • Build Sustainable Brand • Capture Opportunities HOW TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABILIT Y and
  19. 19. HOW TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABILITY • Clear Goals, Vision + Actionable Plan (Communication) • Who is the Expert? • Be Authentic • Be Transparent • Know your Facts • Stick to the Facts
  20. 20. • Certify • Be Proactive • Educate • Engage the Team • Celebrate Successes • Connect the Dots
  21. 21. • Know the Regulations & Laws Walmart has agreed to pay $1 million to settle greenwashing claims that allege the nation’s largest retailer sold plastic products that were misleadingly labeled “biodegradable” or “compostable” in violation of California law. https://www.environmentalleader.com /2017/02/greenwashing-costing- walmart-1-million/
  22. 22. Regulations & Laws (cont’d) In Canada Environmental claims: A guide for industry and advertisers 3.5 Objective of CAN/CSA-ISO 14021 CAN/CSA-ISO 14021 is intended to harmonize the use of terms and symbols that claimants use in making self-declared environmental claims. Available: http://niagarasustainability.org/resources/
  23. 23. • Quality should never come at the cost of sustainability “Make the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Patagonia Mission Statement
  24. 24. PROMOTING SUSTAINABILITY How to Tell Your Story
  25. 25. http://www.patagonia.com/blog/2016/11/record-breaking-black-friday-sales-to-benefit-the-planet/
  26. 26. https://www.dirtt.net/sustainabili ty/how-were-sustainable
  27. 27. https://www.interface.com/CA/en-CA/about/index
  28. 28. https://www.interface.com/CA/en-CA/about/index/A-Foundation-for-Beautiful-Thinking- en_CA?_ga=1.260225677.1891562008.1489491526
  29. 29. https://beatties.com/sustainability-promise/
  30. 30. https://brocku.ca/environmental-sustainability-research-centre
  31. 31. Alphacoms - French Communications Agency - To communicate around their Sustainability culture and demonstrate their innovation in communication, they decided to present their 2013 CSR report as an online virtual tour of their offices where is organized a gigantic…banana hunt! Yes, you’ve read it correctly. A banana hunt.
  32. 32. Clim’Way Create a climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions http://climway.cap-sciences.net/us/index.php GAMES
  33. 33. Sea Life Aquarium This aquarium in London, England offers augmented reality to enhance experience of visitors without the need to capture real animals http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/aquarium-attraction AUGMENTEDREALITY
  34. 34. Infographic
  35. 35. Infographic
  36. 36. KEY TAKEAWAYS • Know your Audience! • Goals, Vision + Plan • Stick to the Facts • Keep the Message Simple • Do it, Live it, Tell it • Learn & Adapt • Celebrate Success • Be Creative! Ask for Help “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
  37. 37. Niagara Sustainability Initiative (NSI) is a non-profit organization, which acts as a catalyst for Niagara’s businesses, municipalities and organizations to meet its present needs without compromising those of future generations. NSI’s primary service offering is The Carbon Project. Carbon Project Members represent some of Niagara’s most environmentally conscious organizations. The program gives members the tools to set targets, make changes as well as measure and track their sustainability progress over time. Contact us info@niagarasustainability.org 289-786-0970 @SustainNiagara NiagaraSustainability.org Presented by Laura Dunkley is a communications strategist with expertise in the area of digital marketing, public relations, and social media. Offering expertise in wellness and sustainability, she assists organizations develop communications best practice. laura@lauradunkley.com 289-821-4651 @lauraldunkley LauraDunkley.com
  38. 38. REFERENCES • Slide 13 – Strategic Communications – Services Available http://www.lauradunkley.com/site/l- dunkley-communications-services-strategic-communications • Slide 15 Creative & Innovative Leaders https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2013/10/27/how- sustainability-leadership-drives-innovation • Slide 15 – Crisis http://www.lauradunkley.com/site/blog/2013/09/01/business-guide-to-reputation- management • Slide 26 – Patagonia Black Friday 2016 - http://www.patagonia.com/blog/2016/11/record-breaking- black-friday-sales-to-benefit-the-planet/ • [ Related Article ] 7 Simple Communication Techniques Inspired by Patagonia - http://www.lauradunkley.com/site/blog/2017/02/20/7-simple-communication-techniques-inspired-by- patagonia • Slide 32 – Alphacoms CSR Report –Read more https://www.2degreesnetwork.com/groups/2degrees-community/resources/this-may-be-most-original- and-entertaining-csr-report-youve-ever-read/ • Slide 35 – Envirotech Office | Waste Not, Want Not – Waste Audit [Infographic] http://www.envirotechoffice.com/waste-not-want-not-audit-review/ • Slide 37 – Sustainability Sketchnote / Infographic + more tips on how to promote sustainability http://www.lauradunkley.com/site/blog/2017/03/20/creative-ways-to-promote-sustainability-infographic

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