With over two-thirds of North American consumers preferring sustainable brands today, it’s no surprise that many organizations are responding by prioritizing environmentally-conscious business practices, such as reducing carbon emissions, using recycled materials, or donating to related causes.
This has given way to green marketing, which is essentially organizations’ efforts to shout how amazing their environmentalism is through their advertising. All good things to fight the climate crisis, right?
Well, unfortunately, there is a growing trend of brands making unsubstantiated green marketing claims, which leads them to be under scrutiny for false or misleading information, known as greenwashing. This can lead businesses to lose money and customers, receive negative reviews, and even be the target for class-action lawsuits.
While Kermit the Frog may think “it’s not easy being green,” we think implementing authentically green business practices isn’t an out-of-reach ambition. At Sparx Publishing Group, innovation and sustainability is at the forefront of the content we create to make the world better. Here are our three tips to avoid greenwashing and reap the rewards of implementing green marketing into your marketing strategy.
Become a Truly Green Business
The first step to avoid greenwashing is to practice what you preach. Do your research and commit to becoming a green business for real. Not only will you be contributing to positive environmental change, but marketing your green practices can improve your stock performance and get more loyal, higher-paying customers, as discussed in this Barron’s article.
For more information on sustainable business practices, check out our article. Once you have an idea of ways you can make the world better, learn about setting SMART goals in cause marketing, including SMART goals examples. You can also harness the power of technology and social media to do good.
Get Your Business Tested and Certified
Before you go to market with your green product, it’s advised to get your product certified. CSA Group is a Canadian standards organization “dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability” that can evaluate your product and, if approved, give you a sustainability mark, which will set you apart in the marketplace.
As well, any buildings you operate can be evaluated with green building certifications. Becoming a B Corp (Benefits Corporation) is another excellent seal of approval to prove to customers you reach the highest standard of social and environmental performance.
Communicate Your Sustainable Efforts to Customers
While it can be tempting to look better on paper, it’s worse to be discovered fraudulent or misleading. Communicate your sustainable efforts in an accessible, honest, and repetitive way for your customers and stakeholders.
For example, this study found that Timberland, a United States-based manufacturer, sticks labels that resemble nutrition facts onto their product boxes. These labels list information regarding the company’s environmental practices, such as their environmental footprint, number of trees they’ve planted, and the total of their renewable, organic, and recycled material in their products.
We’re Here to Help You
Sparx Publishing Group is a full-service marketing agency creating content to make the world better. If you need help with making a real, positive impact without greenwashing your brand, reach out to Sparx here.