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5 ways to avoid greenhushing your sustainability goals

Greenhushing describes how businesses can avoid talking about sustainability as they fear that they may face accusations of greenwashing. But how can your business avoid falling into this trap?

While the pressure to avoid greenwashing, might make greenhushing seem like the best solution, we need businesses to be sharing both best practices and challenges so that everyone can improve. Neither greenhushing or greenwashing will drive progress.

Here are 5 ways you can communicate sustainability correctly:

  1. Focus on the tangible facts around what you’re doing and avoid overwhelming customers with information that’s difficult to understand.
  2. Start by being transparent internally about where you’re at and set targets for where you’d like to be.
  3. Make sure your team is well prepared for questions from customers before you go public with any ESG statements. You might want to put together an anticipated FAQ answer list for your team before publishing anything on ESG.
  4. Recognise that you’re going to have to keep all this data updated (hopefully with all your progress!) and consistent across all channels. What happens if your chef changes the menu? Does this mean your marketing messages have to change too?
  5. Illustrate your data with stories where you can. These stories have to be factual, but a story describing the life on the farm you work with or the life cycle of an ingredient you use, can be much more engaging and meaningful for customers, especially if you can flesh it out with data to show how you’re achieving this at scale.

Don’t get over-enthusiastic about what you’re doing if you can’t support it with data, but if you can back it up with data, be brave about your ESG claims in the knowledge that you can defend them much in the same way as you would defend your service levels against criticism levelled at you on platforms like TripAdvisor.

Many businesses we work with struggled with articulating what they’re doing to create a more responsible supply chain. Now they are able to be precise about exactly how much of their spend meets specific ESG criteria, set realistic targets, and track progress towards their shared goals with suppliers.

We’ve supported numerous businesses to gather, validate and quantify ESG data from their supply chain, so before you get started, drop us a line, as we can probably save you a considerable amount of time and boring work getting hold of the data you will need from suppliers.

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