Sustainability Planning Hacks

With Earth Week 2023 in the rear view, what’s next?

You probably know that in addition to being the agency behind some of the most loved brands in the outdoor, ski, and natural foods industries, Walden Hyde also has a long and unique expertise in sustainability.

We bring our same award winning strategy and creative to the sustainability platforms we build for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

This includes designing CSR reports and developing sustainability storytelling for brands such as the Cheesecake FactoryElectronic ArtsUnilever’s Pure LeafJustin’sCascade Designs, and Powdr, to name a few.

We’ve been at the forefront of driving sustainability action for over a decade, long before it was commonly expected of businesses. And through the years, we’ve observed that when it comes to sustainability in organizations, it’s often under-funded and one of the first line items to get cut when budgets are scaled back.

If you’re a sustainability professional, how do you turn your company’s impact from a “nice to have” to a business imperative?

1. Address executive level buy-in to establish organizational support

Leadership support of any program drives funding and becomes part of the organizational culture.

If you struggle with upper-level prioritization of sustainability, this is the most important item to confront. Depending on your position, organizational culture, or company size, you’ll need find the best way to navigate this conundrum. Some of the next items on this list can help.

2. Develop cross-departmental goals targeting the lowest hanging fruit and the biggest levers

The more people who are involved, the greater the momentum.

Integrating goals into the work streams of everyone in the organization not only provides the skills and resources to get the work done, it builds a shared cultural understanding that sustainability goals go hand-in-hand with departmental and individual goals.

3. Create an organizational plan showing the financial and organizational benefit

The fastest way to meet a goal is to first firmly believe that achieving the goal is worthwhile.

Build the case for how your goals will have a positive affect on both day-to-day business and long term financial sustainability.

4. Build an internal “marketing” plan to build and sustain momentum

Stay at the forefront of people’s minds by keeping employees and other internal stakeholders in the loop about your goals, developments, and successes.

And when it comes to how you message, try to not build barriers with the words that you choose. Consider how this work fosters inspiration and innovation to create excitement, rather than focusing on fear and lack, which demotivates action.

5. Integrate a strong external narrative that evokes action into your brand platform

Sharing your values and work externally shows your commitment and makes both employees and superfans proud to be a part of your brand.

But again, how you do it matters … simply stating your Scope 1 or 2 emissions is about as exciting as reading someone’s tax return. So how do you go about this?

  • Begin with what you are actually doing
  • Identify the territories you can own based on what is most compelling to your consumers and business
  • Build a narrative that is meaningful and relevant
  • Fold it into the core of your brand to integrate the right tone, visual direction, and storytelling

Following these steps will provide the biggest ROI, sustain your organizational momentum, and rapidly move you towards meeting your goals. It’ll also make you invaluable to your organization.

If you’re looking to do more than just measure and report for next year’s Earth Day (and you should), let’s get started.