Your Company’s Green Reputation Can Be Quickly and Unfairly Maligned
Your Green Reputation can be harmed when someone hears a tidbit or observes something negative about your company’s Sustainability Practices. Suddenly, it’s trending news.
Right or wrong, you’re now on the defensive. Your communications department must do damage control. Furthermore, it’s incredibly frustrating because you’ve made significant improvements in your organization.
- You converted all your office lighting to low energy LEDs.
- The manufacturing floor reduced potable water usage by 30%.
- Manufacturing improved product yield by 20% and therefore reduced both scrap and raw material.
- You’ve implemented on-line record-keeping and reduced paper usage by 5%.
Nevertheless, suddenly the news spotlights the plastic packaging you use claiming you’re not recycling it. All the good stuff you’ve accomplished doesn’t seem to matter. Furthermore, the news is wrong and you do recycle plastic packaging.
Your employees, customers, vendors, and neighbors can all be great ambassadors for sharing your concern and positive steps your company has taken to promote environmental stewardship. Don’t be shy about letting people know about all the steps you’ve taken and are currently implementing. Here’s how.
Ways to Control the Narrative Regarding Your Company’s Green Reputation
Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Summaries
More and more companies, especially ones that are publicly traded corporations, have Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Summaries in their annual filings. Investors who do responsible investing or impact investing look for these ESG summaries.
That’s because they want to determine if the company is operating in a way that aligns with their views on environmental and/or social stewardship. For example, an investor might look for investments in low carbon companies or in ones that are behaving in a “green” manner.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
Customers sometimes request this environmental and/or social impact information in the form of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). For example, customers who purchase textiles or plastics, especially when the manufacturer uses recycled content in the product, want to document the product’s positive environmental and/or social impact. The customer then includes positive impacts on their ESG information and advertising.
Furthermore, the company that makes the product wants this information as well. That’s because they want to prove that their product is a technological advance toward using recycled material and even toward a Circular Economy.
ISO 14001 Certification
ISO 14001 is the international standard certification for environmental management. The latest standard now requires evidence of Life Cycle Thinking. If a company is ISO 14001 certified, you know that they demonstrated to their auditor that they have considered the Life Cycle of their products and their operation.
Take the Offensive in Communicating and Defending Your Company’s Green Reputation
In conclusion, for 2020, don’t let public hype or perception tell your story.
- Share the great accomplishments you’ve made so your investors, your customers, your neighbors, and your employees know the news.
- Tell the world all the great stuff that you’re doing.
- Build credibility in your story by quantifying those improvements in terms of kWh energy saved, gallons of potable water use reduced, and Life Cycle Assessment results.
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