Effectively communicating your carbon offset and energy saving initiatives is a key to the success of your carbon management program and reducing energy usage. Not only will you inspire others so that they also take responsibility for their environmental impact, you will also gain maximum business value.
Many companies are taking action to improve their environmental impact by reducing and offsetting their carbon emissions. These organizations have found that there is a strong business case for managing their carbon footprint, including cost savings, improving processes, brand enhancement, competitive advantage and inspiring customers and staff. In other words, a good carbon management program adds value to the organization.
Jacqueline Arias, founder of Republica Coffee, says, “Being carbon neutral I was able to push a large supermarket to increase the number of Republica products on the shelves from one to seven. The range is also supplied to two major airlines, where our ethical position helped us win these contracts.”
The benefits of an effective communication plan are huge and include:
- Inspiring and educating your customers to take action and reduce their environmental footprint by choosing your products or services.
- Informing your stakeholders of your organization’s progress in achieving its objectives.
- Motivating your employees to participate in achieving the goals that you have set through your carbon program.
- Positioning your organization as a sustainability leader inspiring others to take action.
- Increasing positive media coverage for your organization.
- Addressing reporting regulations when required.
In order for your company to succeed in achieving the benefits listed above, it is important to develop an effective communications plan as part of your overall carbon management program. Make sure you include the following elements when implementing your communication plan:
- Assign responsibilities for your communications team to be clear on the goals and how they will be achieved.
- Define how the information is obtained within your company – the quality of the information needs to be assured.
- Brainstorm how and where the information will be spread out. For example, you can communicate through your company’s website, sustainability report, annual report, newsletters, employee meeting, intranet, advertisement, media releases, at conferences, on invoices, on product labels, in tenders.
- Capture valuable feedback from customers, employees and other stakeholders that will help you to continually improve the program.
Suggestions of several good communication principles that will help you get started:
- Communicate internally first. That way, you make sure that key members across your company are well informed about the carbon program and will provide consistent messaging to external points of contact.
- Align your actions with your communications. In other terms “walk the talk”. You can also share challenges that you are facing, this will show you are being authentic.
- Give details on your carbon program. What are you doing to reduce your environmental impact, which carbon projects did you choose to offset your emissions and why?
- Include compelling stories from the projects you are supporting with images: “Seeing is believing.”