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Sustainability Communications

Sustainability communications. Sustainability. Green. Low carbon footprint. These words are all the rage right now, but it’s easy for your clients to get confused about how these terms relate to your products or services.

When it comes to ESG, sustainability and your organization's carbon footprint, it's crucial to define what you are doing and why. Once you've nailed that down, the next step is communicating that information.

AOE can help you craft an approach so your audience will understand your sustainability offerings and then help you effectively market your message.

Misunderstandings about what sustainability is shouldn’t happen. AOE helps you communicate your information about how a lower carbon footprint can be achieved.

Just like any other marketing tactic, sustainability is a message that must have a strategy.

AOE can ensure your message is correctly communicated through social media, website information and e-newsletters.

The challenge comes in successfully communicating how you can contribute to lowering their carbon footprint. Sustainability can take on many different meanings and misinformation is rampant. It’s important that your message of what you offer is clear.

Questions? Contact us about your sustainability communications needs.

Sustainability Communications

As an active member of the industries we serve, AOE has committed to becoming an expert in the topics we communicate about and that includes sustainability. In addition to securing the Envision Sustainability certification designation, AOE is committed to staying on the cutting-edge of the trends related to this topic so we can aid our clients in their communications efforts.

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FAQs about Sustainability

What is sustainability?

Sustainability can take on many different meanings and overlap in many other areas of your organization such as DEI. It’s important that the message of what you offer is clear. Is it understood by all what challenges you face to improve the sustainability of your company? What are you doing? Where do your employees, your clients and your community fit in? A sustainability communications plan should answer these questions.

Being intentional with your sustainability efforts (and the way you communicate these efforts to your audiences) isn’t just good for the environment, it could be good for business. ESG data refers to an organization’s externalities in regards to environment, society and corporate governance. This data can be used by investors to assess the material risks of the organization. The organization itself can use the data for strategic and managerial purposes. If the concept of ESG data, or corporate sustainability, is new to you or if you’re not quite sure where you stand, we can help you get started.

What is sustainable communication?

Sustainability communication is defined as an organization’s commitment to speaking candidly about its sustainability strategy, goals and efforts. The challenge comes in successfully communicating how you are contributing to lowering your carbon footprint and being more sustainable as an organization.

Just like any other marketing tactic, sustainability is a message that must have a strategy. This is an ongoing conversation with your employees, clients, the general public and other invested parties. It’s important to let these groups know what your organization is doing and how they can be involved. Transparency will build trust. People don’t need to see perfection, they need to see effort.

AOE has vast experience and proven success in the area of sustainability corporate communications and ESG data. We can ensure your message is correctly communicated through social media, website information and e-newsletters.

How can communication help promote sustainable development?

Communication can promote sustainable development by opening up a dialogue and fostering an environment where everyone involved in the organization can grow and learn about sustainability.

You may be wondering why sustainability communication is necessary. What is obvious to you may be news to others. Isn’t the public aware of the steps we are taking to promote environmental awareness, as well as attending to social and leadership issues? Don’t they know we are taking steps, even such as reducing our use of fossil fuels? In short … no! They don’t know unless you tell them.

Another reason sustainability communications is important is that employees want to work for companies that pay attention to sustainability. Investors, owners, the government and clients alike are all asking about it: What is your organization doing for the environment? If the answer is nothing or I don’t know, these groups are going to move along to a competitor who is confidently advertising their sustainability efforts.

You can’t assume that the public, your clients, or even your employees (or prospective employees) are aware of the steps your organization is taking on its sustainability journey, or your hopes or expectations for them in their role as it connects to your brand.  Do they understand your goals and why they are important?

When you make sustainability communication a priority, you can get everyone well-informed and on the same page. Through a thoughtfully worded eblast, you can let your clients and community know about the steps you are taking to reach your ESG goals at your company. By posting information on your website, you can let the public know about the sustainable steps you are taking. By making an effort to communicate, you’ve opened up the dialogue and strengthened the sense of community. Sustainability is a journey that we’re all in together.

Communication can promote sustainable development by motivating those involved in your organization to rise to the challenge and meet community/organization sustainability goals as well as personal goals for one’s own sustainability journey. We can make a difference by being open, transparent and sharing our goals and ideas.

AOE is poised to assist you in communicating your sustainability footprint and efforts through a variety of tactics including updating sustainability information on your website, writing social media about your low-carbon options, and sending out e-newsletters about your green alternatives. When you work with AOE, you can be confident that you are receiving the latest and greatest information and expertise when it comes to sustainability communications.

 

We are proud to have secured the Envision Sustainability certification designation. As an active member of the industries we serve, AOE has committed to becoming an expert in the topics we communicate about and that includes sustainability. We frequent conferences to learn the most updated best practices related to design and sustainability. AOE is committed to staying on the cutting-edge of the trends related to this topic so we can aid our clients in their communications efforts.

How can we
educate employees
on sustainability?

Getting employees on board with (and excited about!) your efforts is a crucial part of your success. When it comes to sustainability in the workplace, we can’t tell you what to do, but we can give suggestions for how you can talk about it! As aforementioned, your sustainability corporate communications need to be an ongoing effort.

To ensure that your internal sustainability communication is utilized in the best method possible, here are some key steps:

  • Work with professional communicators. Have writers and designers bring the data together in a professional-looking brochure, video and/or on your website.

  • Be visual. Have the designer create charts and infographics will ensure that the final data is communicated in the best method possible and is easy to understand. Also, make sure the brochure follows all corporate branding.

  • Distribute the information to employees. Email, social media, brochures - there are several ways to communicate. (See more below!)

  • Don’t forget your website. Whether it is your company’s policies; workplace health and safety; sustainability; diversity, equity and inclusion; or other topics, the information can be in as much depth as needed for the website.

Strategies to impart sustainability information:

  • Website updates

  • Social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or other mediums

  • E-newsletters

  • Campaigns

  • Brochures

In terms of content, typical information includes:

  • Sustainability

  • Greenhouse gas emissions

  • Water consumption

  • Safety culture

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion

  • Employee health and wellness

  • Crisis Response

  • Community service/philanthropy

  • Leadership

  • Ethics and compliance

  • Risk Management

Why is sustainability communication important?

When it comes to getting people on board with sustainability, communicating value is key. We must ensure that our target audiences understand what it means to be sustainable and what steps are being taken in our sustainability journeys. Clients and customers are aware of sustainability but may not be well informed. How does the misunderstanding and lack of information occur? People make decisions based on information that has appeared from various sources, such as social media or the media. The danger is that the information is not always verified or accurate. Having a sustainability communications strategy is more critical than ever because it centers your organization as the information source. You can be crystal-clear about your intentions, efforts and goals when it comes to your organization’s sustainability journey.

 

AOE wants to do our part as we believe in supporting the industry we have served for more than two decades. Although sustainability has been a theme for many years for our clients, we have seen a huge increase in our clients needing to better communicate their environmental footprint to their audiences and we have helped them with this messaging using a variety of communication mediums. Our team has made a commitment to not only educating ourselves on the latest facts about concrete and its sustainable attributes, but also offering a variety of services to help you promote your sustainable approach.

To learn more about how you can communicate the correct information about sustainability contact AOE.

What is sustainability?
What is sustainable communication?
How can communication help promote sustainable development?
How can we educate employees on sustainability?
Why is sustainability communication important?
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