When Sustainability Fails: Why Some Brands Are Unsuccessful in Embracing Sustainability

As more people become eco-conscious and governments enforce policies that are pro-environment, it becomes inevitable for companies to embrace sustainability. They want businesses to be more mindful of their practices. They want eco-friendly alternatives and sustainable solutions to their various pain points. But then, not all businesses who already made the sustainable switch are successful.

The following cites five of the many reasons why companies fail to keep their sustainable promise.

Leaders and Employees Resisting Change

Many businesses made the decision to embrace sustainability without taking into consideration their employees. It is not enough that you tell them the benefits of adopting sustainable efforts. It also becomes a must that you incorporate your new vision, makes the necessary changes to make all business practices more sustainable, and ensure all leaders and their staff understands why and how to get things done the right way.   

Leaders and employees are often resistant to change. Company owners and executives are the ones willing to make drastic changes on how they run and manage the company. But it still boils down to how well the leaders translate the new policies and how the employees will take these changes to heart.  

As businesses go through numerous changes, the transition is often never flawless. This is where change management coaching comes into play. With the right coach, company leaders and employees will get the right support they need to successfully embrace such far-reaching efforts.

Businesses Resorting to Greenwashing

Not all brands who say they are now saying yes to sustainability are actually committed to fulfilling their promise. Some are not as sustainable as they claim they are. Others are simply using this gimmick to tap on the eco-conscious market.

Experts refer to such practice as greenwashing. This is when companies use misleading information on how their practices and offers are eco-friendly and sustainable. They convey a false impression just, so they can make consumers believe they are more environment-friendly than they really are.

It is vital that companies be careful when promoting their brand as a green and sustainable brand. You can avoid greenwashing by:

  • Not using vague language to describe and market your offers
  • Only telling true stories that show your bona fide sustainable efforts
  • Changing your company’s practices into more sustainable ones before making any claims
  • Use facts and show certifications to let consumers know your claims are true
  • Continuously find ways to make your brand more sustainable

Failure to Consistently Factor Sustainability

Embracing sustainable efforts only to jump back to your old practices is not the kind of change consumers and the government want. Consistency is key if you want any major changes you make within your company to last. Failure to do so will only make your people confused and your customers frustrated with your real intentions.

For instance, changing how you make your products in order to make them more eco-friendly is always a good choice. But if you don’t follow through and fails to consider what happens before each product is made and how your customers receive this, all your efforts will remain futile. You want to make sure your customers will be able to discern that you are truly committed to your new goal.

You want to make sure you are sourcing your materials from local and sustainable businesses. How you pack your products, the way you ship the orders, and how these end up in your customer’s hands also matter. Be consistent and you can proudly market your brand as a sustainable business.

Lack of Transparency

Many companies were able to make their business more sustainable. What they failed to do is to be more transparent to their customers.  Simply telling consumers that the business is trying its best to be sustainable will never be enough.

Consumers want proof that you are doing your part in saving the environment. Words and a few numbers are not good enough since these can be easily manipulated. Remember that transparency will always breed accountability.

Being transparent makes your brand look more genuine. It makes your business look more reputable. This helps build trust, awareness, and even helps in setting your business apart from all the other businesses claiming their initiatives are already making a difference.

Businesses that are transparent in their sustainability efforts are able to convince consumers that they are really serious about achieving their goals. They are not merely doing this to get more likes and gain more followers on social media. They want everyone to know that their efforts are working, and they are really committed to make the world a better place.

This goes to show that simply wanting to make your brand more sustainable won’t magically turn it into a sustainable brand. You are likely to face numerous issues that will challenge your willingness to commit. It pays to do due diligence and careful planning to make sure all your efforts will eventually pay off.

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