Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in products and brands using sustainability logos or certifications to demonstrate and communicate their environmental impact. Not only are these accreditations a great tool for reinforcing an organisation’s sustainability commitment and goals, they have been proven to help drive growth.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1) Transparency through independent review
Consumers are becoming more sustainability savvy when buying products and are increasingly looking for transparency from brands around their environmental impact. A survey conducted by Futerra demonstrated that 88% of consumers would like brands to help them make more environmentally friendly and ethical choices. What’s more, the majority of consumers believe that third-party certification is the best way to verify a product’s social or environmental claims. Making a public commitment via a certification shows consumers that your organisation is not just talking about taking action but actually driving and tracking change.
2) What isn’t measured isn’t managed
Sustainability has three pillars – social, economic and environmental. It is a complex topic and not easy to define in a large organisation. As with any change, if you don’t measure your impact, it isn’t possible to demonstrate progress and or manage it effectively. Sustainability accreditations provide that framework, by helping organisations measure, report, track progress and set goals to increase their sustainability performance.
3) Identifying gaps and areas to improve in your sustainability strategy
Working with a third party and following a framework to measure your performance allows you to identify gaps in your own sustainability strategy. There are many easy wins such as changing light bulbs in your office or improving the recyclability of your waste—but what happens when you have completed the low hanging fruit? What comes next in your list of priorities? A sustainability certification will work with you to review your environmental data and identify where you can have the biggest impact and drive the largest reduction. Most importantly, it keeps organisation on track with progress and accountable for their ambitions. Certifications are not a one-time thing—you need to demonstrate year on year improvements in order to recertify.
4) Collaboration with other purpose-led organisations
External certification bodies create networks for like-minded organisations from different industries to accommodate a knowledge exchange of challenges and experiences. These networks offer a great learning opportunity for sustainability professionals, encouraging them to support and push each other to drive change together, often resulting in new mutually beneficial partnerships—after all, we all need to all work together to combat climate change.
5) Employee engagement and retention
Employees want to work for organisations that have high sustainability targets and ambitions. Many understand that their role may not directly improve the environment, but they want to know that the organisation they work for has made environmental and social commitments. As much as corporate sustainability initiatives are about making sure an organisation can survive the threat of climate change, they’re also about doing the right thing and communicating this to employees in order to retain and inspire them
At The Marketing Store, we are excited to demonstrate our commitment to being better and doing more by working with The Planet Mark. This certification demonstrates not only our environmental impact but also the social value we create. The data we have collected, and the measurements completed provide us with invaluable insight into how to improve our sustainability strategy.
We know that we are only one part of a much bigger picture. We also know that there’s much more still do, but we will continue to identify and tackle each sustainability challenge with integrity, accountability and creativity.
Our work is never finished.
- Pamela Stathaki, head of sustainability