Crafting an authentic green messaging strategy

Last updated: 29th August 2023

Businesses in all sectors have realised the importance of reducing their environmental footprint and of communicating their sustainability efforts to their customers and stakeholders.

However, greenwashing – the practice of making unsubstantiated or overinflated green claims to appeal to Earth-conscious consumers – has eroded trust in green marketing, damaging even companies that make truthful and substantiated green claims.

As a result, greeting your green messaging right has never been more important. But what are the most important things to consider to craft a green marketing strategy that consumers and stakeholders alike will trust?

1. Focus on why

Talking about what your business is doing to be more sustainable is not enough – you also need to communicate why you’re doing it. Consumers tend to be more supportive of brands that demonstrate a clear social purpose, and will want to know that your values align with theirs. 

Describe what difference your sustainable products and services will make to the local community and to the planet, and explain why this means so much to your brand. B2B organisations might be tempted to rely solely on data and hard facts, but it’s important to remember that it’s the people behind those businesses that will engage with your content. You’re much more likely to grab their attention and win their trust if you can convey the positive and tangible impact you’re making. 

Video is an effective way of bringing your sustainability efforts to life – so the old writers’ motto “show, don’t tell” is a good approach. What could you show your audience that demonstrates your commitment to the environment? Perhaps you could offer a tour of your renewable energy generation site, or you could explain how you’re minimising the use of water and other natural resources in manufacturing your products.

2. Be transparent

It goes without saying that your marketing messages should be truthful and based on measurable data. In particular, it’s essential to double check the accuracy of your sustainability claims and to avoid generic terms such as ‘green’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘carbon neutral’ without clearly defining what that means.

If you want to take this a step further, rely on standardised measurement methods or ask for support from an independent consultancy to back up your sustainability credential. For example, rather than setting an unrealistic net zero target, you could work with the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to establish what’s feasible for your organisation and create a verified and achievable Science Based Target (SBT) for decarbonisation. 

The validation of a trusted third party will boost the credibility of your green claims, and allow you to track your progress towards net zero in a tangible and reliable way. 

3. Share your challenges

Becoming a more sustainable business is a rewarding process, but one that doesn’t happen overnight and may involve several challenges. Often, businesses strive to focus on their achievements when discussing decarbonisation initiatives. But while it’s certainly a good idea to update your stakeholders when you reach new milestones, you should also consider sharing some of your struggles.

These stories are likely to resonate with your audience and humanise your brand. Moreover, they have the potential to inspire other companies that might be struggling to curb their environmental footprint.

So, next time to talk about the progress you’ve made, make sure to include any obstacles you might have overcome. For example, if you might have struggled to get comprehensive and reliable data on your carbon emissions, or it might have taken a while to get your team on board with your latest decarbonisation initiative.

This is especially relevant for B2B organisations. Businesses of all sizes and in all sectors are focusing on sustainability, and it’s likely that they’re facing similar challenges to yours. By sharing the hurdles you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome them, you can create relatable content that speaks to them. 

You could share stories in different formats and through a variety of media – from candid vlogs to by-lined opinion articles. Make sure to showcase different members of your organisation, from the C-suite to those in customer-facing roles, to show how sustainability changes are making an impact at every level. 

4. Avoid preaching

If your business is leading the way when it comes to sustainability, that should certainly inform your marketing – but be careful not to preach to your audiences. While it’s important that every organisation plays its part in the green energy transition, it’s crucial to remember that sustainability isn’t a priority for every organisation. For example, many will be focusing on simply staying afloat during the cost of living crisis.

So while you’re promoting your sustainability achievements, focus on what you’ve done, rather than pushing for others to do the same. If you’re truly making a difference, sharing your story should be enough to inspire others to follow in your footsteps. One of our clients, Bryt Energy, does this really well – their annual Bryt By Nature sustainability report outlines what they are doing to become a more sustainable business, so others can take inspiration from them. 

The Marketing Pod has helped businesses across a huge range of industries to tell their audiences all about their sustainability progress. There’s really no angle we haven’t covered when it comes to net zero! If you could use some support to market your sustainability credentials successfully, get in touch at

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