Weaving sustainability into the fabric of your brand

07.12.2023

You know the science, but a quick recap will sharpen our minds.

Carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels has caused temperatures to rise by 1-degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, floods that we are witnessing around the world are caused by this 1-degrees increase. If society, as we know it, is to survive, we need to limit this global temperature increase within the 1.5 degrees defence line (The Paris Agreement). If emissions continue climbing as they have been, we will be adding enough carbon to the air to take us past the 1.5 degrees tipping point in less than 8-years-time. We need to reduce the carbon we have been releasing year upon year – we have until 2030 to half emissions. By 2050, or sooner, we need to be at the stage where no incremental greenhouse gases are emitted. This is net zero.

Making your purpose more purposeful 

According to a Nielson Study in 2018, 81% of consumers feel strongly that companies should help improve the environment. Which is why it is critical to the success of businesses that the UN sustainable goals are taking firm root at the heart of business strategy – the E, S and Gs (Environmental, Social and Governance). Your consumers (and employees and stakeholders) want to be aligned with a brighter, cleaner and more sustainable future. They want to know you’re caring for the environment, looking out for your employees, supporting local communities, and dealing ethically. Companies that don’t openly and transparently share their values and behaviours and embrace the responsibility of making the world a better place, will no longer be relevant, visible or viable.

Brand is a powerful ally. Through strategy and creativity, it can embed sustainability into your identity, into your personality and proposition – deepening the emotional connection between your brand and your consumers. And show you’re genuinely committed to driving positive change. It is our belief brand can move us on from mass consumerism and help shape the net zero world we need next.

How do you sustain your story?

Businesses need to incorporate sustainability as a core value and not a marketing strategy. But this needs thinking about. You can’t just put the words, “We are a sustainable company” in with your other values (well you can but it won’t help you stand out) and say job done. How can you reinforce your commitment to sustainability and bring it to life as a core value and beyond?

Aside from solid climate-related data illustrating your brand’s sustainability journey, functional facts graphically executed, we think it’s about making you matter to your audience through emotive and memorable storytelling. We are mindful of giving brands an edge, creating an ownable difference with a clear visual and verbal tonal link to the essence of your brand. When a brand knows what it’s about, your tone of voice is clearer and stronger – and your sustainability messages can come across more authentically and consistently. From you. And not as a bolt-on, as we like to call it. Unique and genuine narratives, or brand territories, strengthen a brand’s identity and capture the hearts and minds of your consumers.

Let’s make this tangible

Consider our recent rebrand for our client Evero, a waste to renewable energy company. They literally move mountains of landfill, reusing millions and millions of tons of waste to supply sustainable, reliable, affordable energy. A force for good, we increased recognition of the impact they were making by repositioning them as the natural restorers of balance in the world. This strategic and creative ‘reset’ idea was taken right through from look and feel to the logo and naming. Like the Earth on its axis, the logo tilts at 23.4 degrees. And the new Evero name – purposely ends in ‘O’ to reference the circular economy. In effect, we created sustainability branding that reflects the company’s crucial mission of safeguarding our planet for generations to come.

“Save the planet” everyone’s got the same brief 

So, this is the challenge. You might find it deeply fascinating for your touchpoints to wax lyrical about your sustainability pillars, but your consumers still want your brand to engage. How do you decrease your impact on the world without decreasing your impact as a brand? Another way, aside from storytelling, is to use your transformative powers to make the journey to net zero easier for your consumers. Rather than looking inward ‘nurture’ them with the positive behaviours that lead to lower-carbon lives. Inspire with your knowledge. Excite with your technology. Invite them to join your initiatives and community. Ask for their feedback. Brands who take the lead on sustainability are the ones who stand out – this is a commercial opportunity to rise above Same.     

We’re just curious…

  • Are you embedding sustainability goals into your business?
  • How are you weaving safeguarding the planet into your proposition and personality?
  • Have you included sustainability into your values?
  • Do your employees know about your sustainability journey. Do they feel involved?

Feel free to get in touch if you’re curious about how we can help.