Sustainability of companies not only serves the responsibility, but can be a sales turbo. According to studies, up to 40% of Germans are willing to spend more on a product if the company is socially engaged. But of course only if they relieve the company of its sustainability activities and communication. Big sticking point: Many consumers know in principle too little about the sustainability projects of companies. In 2011, only one in ten consumers even knew of a sustainable company. Second sticking point: Consumers are often not convinced when buying products, because the sustainability activities are poorly communicated. So, if you know how to talk about sustainability, you have a clear advantage and can increase your sales and strengthen your position in the market.
“Sustainability is a cost factor for us, but it gives our company a clear profile,” says Antje von Dewitz, CEO of outdoor equipment supplier Vaude. For them, sustainability means “acting in partnership with people and nature.” The company boss not only clearly communicates the sustainability strategy, but also explains the individual activities, e. how Vaude maintains long-standing partnerships with Asian manufacturing facilities, supports social and sustainable measures there, and also how this process is audited by the “Fair Wear Foundation” certification body.
Vaude’s growth rates are on average 10% per year above the industry average. Success is almost logical, as an American study comparing CSR strategies of 411 companies has shown that full engagement in the environmental and social sectors leads to greater profits. But only if sustainability strategy and communication are right. Half-hearted and one-sided strategies often even resulted in red numbers. And it takes patience. Effects are partially measurable only after 2 years.
It is of central importance how you as a company representative communicate during public appearances about sustainability. The following factors should be noted:
- Score with facts. Prove their commitment, e.g. by working with certification authorities. This creates not only trust but also a higher level of awareness.
- Open cards. Do without self-praise. If necessary, also address problems when products are e.g. still need time to be 100% organic. But show the way how you want to get there.
- Think long term. The key is that your sustainability strategy is understood as well as the benefits to the environment and consumers.
- Continuity suggests individual actions. Communicate the progress of your engagement continuously.
If you would like to know more about how to communicate about sustainability in public, call us on +49 – 89 – 800 33 450. Our experts are happy to talk to you.
Quotes Augsburger Allgemeine, 18.04.2018 (https://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/wirtschaft/Vaude-Chefin-Die-Kunden-wollen-ein-gutes-Gewissen-id50891481.html)
Picture: VAUDE-Photos – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, (https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59380142)