Today’s society is rapidly changing towards adopting greener technologies and practices while consumers are shifting to more sustainable behavior. Thus, the demand to make more sustainable products is increasing so the industry needs to adapt ASAP!
A more sustainable product can mean a more sustainable production. And this matter concerns the entire spectrum of businesses, from the smallest to the multinational organization. But, how to start? Well, keep reading and find it out.
First, take a look at the way you see sustainability
Your first thought when thinking about changing to a more sustainable production might be “That’s going to be expensive!” However, it doesn’t have to be. Starting to be more sustainable will not leave you out of the game. Instead, it will take you to another level, adding a very noticeable difference in today’s market.
Think of these changes, not as a cost but as an asset. Being more sustainable will give your product an advantage over other alternatives by incurring savings on materials, energy, and so on. It will also give your product a boost in a society with more sustainability-conscious consumers.
Second, more sustainable production means... What does it mean?
Sustainable production can mean more energy-efficient production. So, to start becoming more sustainable you don’t necessarily need to go headfirst into solar panels or something similar. Instead, evaluate how energy efficient your operations are.
You need to take advantage of all the energy you can from your operations and your surroundings. Read about Integrated Energy Systems (IES) and see how you can implement it across your business.
After making sure you take advantage of almost all the energy you can, except for minor losses, you should think about the energy source. You can start gradually adapting to different sources that in the long term will save a lot of energy, and therefore, money. Think about using solar or eolic power; special coatings in buildings and pipes to use less energy in heating or cooling. By doing some research of your company energetic necessities and the alternative energy sources available, you will find the solution that fits your organization.
Third, sustainable production is not merely a technical aspect
“What did you just say?” Yes, sustainable operations and products also have a social aspect. Have you ever wondered how employees mobilize or their daily practices at the workplace when sustainability is concerned? Do you know how much energy your supplier uses to deliver you everything you ask for? If not, you should start thinking about it.
People involved in your operations and their decisions also affect the sustainability of a process or a product. Although it might not be usually taken into consideration, it is a big part of the footprint your organization leaves on the planet. So, when becoming more sustainable, think: “What is the impact employees and suppliers have and how can it be improved?”
Using bicycles, carpooling between colleagues, or public transportation can improve the footprint left by your employees. The challenge is finding a way to make the change attractive to them. Your supplier might be another story, but showing them the benefits of more sustainable ways of transportation will work. For example, the savings they can make in the long term might make them consider becoming more sustainable too.
Having a more sustainable product or process doesn’t mean a complete shift and heavy investments for your business all at once. Small changes over time will do the job.
The most important thing is that everyone in the organization is committed to working towards a more sustainable future. To make the change successful, everyone involved in the process of elaborating and delivering your product needs to be on board. This way, the transition can be done as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
Manuel Alejandro Ruiz Mejia
Master student of Biotechnology at Lund University. The author holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. Manuel is one of the Marketing Directors and was a former Consultant at 180 Degrees Consulting Lund.
In our blog, we have shared our golden tips for effective digital inbound marketing. Especially non-profits and newly established startups often don’t have a lot of resources to put into marketing. Knowledge of the realities of digital media landscape can already take you far, but without strong and influential content on your web page and other digital channels, you will not get to ride on the crest of a wave.
Before you dive deep into SEO and other juicy secrets of inbound marketing, it may be helpful to spend a little moment with the basics.
To communicate successfully each organisation needs a purpose, an identity, and a voice of their own. To have a personal voice an organisation needs a strong identity, which is in turn enhanced by the organisation’s ability to communicate about its purpose.
Do you see the logic?
YOU HAVE A PURPOSE, NOW PUT IT SIMPLY AND ADD PASSION
As a sustainability-minded organisation, your purpose probably has something to do with creating social impact. It is also the greatest asset in your marketing strategy if you communicate about it clearly. To target the desirable audiences, your purpose should be out there, highlighted, and refined.
What are the main ingredients of your agency? What are you passionate about?
Test how short you can put your purpose to make it as understandable as possible. Avoid jargon and articulate the logic in between your actions, targets and goals. Building a persona is a great tool to clarify your target audience. Make your purpose into a pitch that everyone in your organisation knows.
VALUE-BASED COMMUNICATION ENHANCES COMMITMENT
Your purpose should also give an idea of your values. Value-based communication is a prerequisite for the commitment of your target groups: similar values make people and organisations connect. Research shows a rise in customer's expectations for value-based actions from companies.
Put your values into clear words: what are your core values?
However, it is not enough to just write your values down on a pamphlet; they need to be onboard in your everyday actions. Every person working in your organisation is a communicator, not only the communication specialist. All actions communicate your organisation’s values.
TRANSPARENCY CREATES TRUST
Because actions communicate values, tell your audiences what you are already doing to meet your values. However, you might not be quite there yet. You can also let people know about your goals and how you are planning to reach them.
Transparency is at the core of building trust; both inside your organisation and between you and the rest of the society.
What if you meet criticism and doubt? Answer questions asked and prepare to be open.
Transparency may require dialogue, also in your digital communication. Despite you most likely are tired of hearing this: social media is about being social.
OVERCOME THE FEAR OF MAKING MISTAKES IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Engaging is a great way to bring your organisation closer to your target groups. Still, it is too easy to just publish content and then take a step back.
To really engage, you need to take part in a conversation. This may feel like a big step.
Small voices of local non-profits and enterprises easily get lost under big, organically spreading social media campaigns. Besides, the possibility of making a blunder is always present in social media.
Engagement can open your vocal cords for a unique tone of voice. It may protect your reputation from sudden damages by allowing you to give your own words to things that happen. These are big reasons to take the leap and learn by reading, listening and exploring.
To succeed in building a strong presence in the digital sphere, being transparent, true to your values, and keeping your target audiences in mind will make a good start.
If you are an organisation that aims at creating a positive social and environmental impact, and you want help in transforming challenges into opportunity, you can contact us by email. 180 Degrees Consulting Lund is here to help you.
Master student in Media and Communication at Lund University. The author holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Political Sciences from the University of Helsinki. Anna is a Marketing Director at 180 Degrees Consulting Lund.