This is the first in a series of articles about sustainable businesses. Keep checking for future articles on

Sustainability has become a popular buzzword across industries. Clothing brands fight fast fashion in retail. Airlines offer carbon emission offsets at checkout. And in the auto industry, electric vehicle sales are rapidly growing. But how much does sustainability really matter to customers? 

Turns out, a lot. As of 2020, nearly 70 percent of North American consumers said it’s important that a brand is sustainable or eco-friendly. And almost 80 percent want to know the origins of the products they buy. 

Green marketing is no longer just a catch phrase. It’s a competitive market factor. Between 2006 and 2010 — in the midst of a recession — the top 100 sustainable global companies experienced significantly higher mean sales growth and cash flow than other companies. And 62 percent of executives consider a sustainability strategy necessary to be competitive today. 

Setting sustainable business goals, and then marketing them, can help you manage relationships between stakeholders and set your business apart from the competition. 

First, let’s get some definitions straight. 

Sustainability can be defined as “development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”  

Marketing can be loosely defined as promoting or selling something that has value for customers. 

Sustainability marketing is knowing that the product or service you produce will satisfy consumers’ needs without compromising the environment. 

What steps can I take to be a more sustainable business?

I could tell you things you already know: Recycle more. Drive less. Digitize your paperwork. But the first real step to committing to a sustainable business is to look at your company from the inside out.

Define your values

What does sustainability look like for your company’s culture? How much money are you willing to commit to sustainability as a company? And if your business grows, will your initiatives scale? Think hard about your business’s values before you set your sustainability goals. 

Embrace change 

Growth and comfort don’t often coexist. The world is going through a major shift, but businesses that can shake up the status quo and adjust to the new normal are the ones that will thrive. 

Stay up to date

Keep tabs on news in your own industry, as you might be surprised what your competitors are doing to help go green. Just as important, though, is staying up to date on news related to green businesses. You may find unique solutions, new business ideas, or even deals on environmental technology for your company by following along with news sources such as GreenBiz, Treehugger’s business section, and BusinessGreen

Taking steps to a more sustainable business… 1. Define your values: What does sustainability look like for your company’s culture?  2. Embrace change: How does your business adjust to major societal shifts? 3. Stay up to date: Who do you look to for inspiration on new, unique business ideas?

How do I market my company’s sustainability initiatives?

When you’re marketing your products or services to eco-conscious consumers, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. 

Write it into your mission statement

Every company website has a section that explains what they do, whether it’s on the home page or in an “About Us” tab. How do your sustainable initiatives fit into your company’s story? Think about why sustainability is so important to your business, what your end goal is, and how you’ll measure sustainability success. Remember to keep your writing simple, straightforward, and concise. 

Position your company as a forward-thinker through content

Content marketing is key to driving your sustainability marketing forward. For instance, you might not think that a fleet management company that oversees hundreds of thousands of combustion vehicles would value sustainability. But our client, Mike Albert, decided to be leaders in that area. Their team hired experts in the electric vehicle industry, then hired our content team to push “play.” We rolled out a Future of Fleets microsite packed with articles and information about building more sustainable fleets. Along with using search engine optimization, environmentally-conscious clients are finding their way to Mike Albert because of  their forward-thinking practices. 

Promote your message on social media

If you do all the work to establish your sustainability values and then put them into practice, make sure customers know about it. Hosted a company clean-up event? Snap some pictures and upload them. Switched to energy-saving light bulbs in your office? Post it on your social channels! 

When crafting your social media posting calendar, make sure you develop a plan for making your initiatives known. Look forward to environmentally friendly holidays to post on, like Earth Day (April 22), Global Recycling Day (March 18), or International Day of Clean Air (September 7). 

At Ample, our content team specializes in writing about sustainability, building social media strategies, and bringing your big ideas to life through web design and development. If you’re looking for an agency that specializes in sustainability, look no further than Ample. Check out all of our capabilities today.

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