Stakeholder communication and business sustainability


Getting the word out on business sustainability is important. Why? Keeping your good work – to reduce waste, repurpose materials, donate, or even innovate along your supply chain to be more eco-friendly – is a waste in itself. If greenwashing worries you, get good at tracking and measuring ALL of your business’ impacts across environmental, social and governance. Then, correctly and authentically share your good efforts with stakeholders like employees, customers, partners, lenders, and the broader community that you reach. Get the word out through emails, videos, events and networking. It will spread goodwill in the market, help your bottom line, and show your commitment to future generations.

A local company we met last week is so green and sustainable it’s AMAZING. They reduce their waste, repurpose stuff, and give back to the community. They even take some of their raw material waste and give it to local sheep farmers. BUT – when I asked them if they told their customers or their employees about all this stuff their answer was no. This week’s topic is all about getting the word out to your stakeholders on your company’s sustainability efforts. Being good is good for business. 

A stakeholder is a member of groups without whose support your organization would cease to exist. Most think stakeholders are employees, their creditors, investors, people giving them money, maybe the government, their customers, and managers. But stakeholders go much deeper. They include your community as a whole, your suppliers, distributors, government agencies, tax collecting agencies, industry trade groups, prospective employees, or prospective customers, your local community, your national community, the public at large, schools, future generations, and even analysts in the media. Your business is not an island. There are many of moving parts and people involved. You touch each of them. 

Why tell all these people – your stakeholders – about your good deeds? 

  1. Gain goodwill in the market 
  2. Inspire other businesses to follow suit 
  3. Showcase your ability to save money and control the bottom line of your business 
  4. De-risk your supply chain 

One word of warning. Be authentic and truthful. Pretending to be “green” for example, while pouring chemical waste into a river behind your offices is greenwashing. Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or misleading information about how a company’s products are environmentally sound. Alternatively, greenhushing is when a company deliberately chooses to underreport or hide their green or ESG credentials from public view to evade scrutiny. What we really want is everyone to talk about the good that they’re doing. That good needs to be authentic. 

Convey your sustainability efforts to your stakeholders. Be transparent about your faults. Get the word out. You will inspire the next generation of fellow businesses to be slightly better to the environment. It will help us all in the long run. Tell your story. 

Watch the full explanation now. Thanks for reading along. 

~ Team ThisRock