Science and sustainability: no go? Huge go! Although it may not seem obvious, it is possible to work with sustainability as a knowledge business. Yes, we actually do it ourselves. However, it is a different process as there is no physical product, but don’t let that put you off. Read here how to get started yourself.
Can you work with sustainability without having physical products?
The answer is yes, you can! Of course, it can be a little more challenging. Physical products are typically those with the greatest impact on climate, environment and biodiversity. That said, it doesn’t mean you have to have a product to work on sustainability. It is also possible to communicate about the sustainability that goes on ‘behind the walls’. As a knowledge company, you can focus on all the aspects that your business can indirectly influence. Everything from physical purchases and digital services you use, as well as social aspects internally. In this way, you as a company can also make a difference.
Why do physical products matter?
Physical products emit the most CO2. That’s why they are typically the focus of attention. Furthermore, it is also very tangible to communicate about and you can obtain certifications that support you being sustainable. If you were a manufacturing company yourself, wouldn’t you also target where you get the most impact? We certainly would. Conversely, just because you don’t have a product doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on sustainability.
See more concrete examples of actions you can take without physical products in chapter 9 on grønmarketing.dk
How to communicate green as a knowledge house?
Basically, it’s about being honest and talking about the concrete, but how do you create the concrete? Something we highly recommend is you try to go through the same thing that companies with physical products have to. For example, like under “about the tribe” make a milestone plan 10+ years ahead where you look holistically at sustainability. Everything from clean energy, material health as well as clean drinking water. Yes, you can do a lot here too.
The above just leads up to you starting to have some concrete things to talk about. For example, in year 1 of your milestone plan, you would like to implement that the company buys only recycled furniture whenever possible.
This results in the following:
- you can communicate that this is your goal, and
- while you are actually buying recycled furniture, you can of course also communicate this
The result is that you do make a difference, but you also get something out of it by communicating about the concrete things you do. Finally, we recommend that you avoid using too many green buzzwords to avoid green fatigue as well as losing credibility.
Credibility is everything, but how do you build it?
As a consultancy that has no physical products, yet chooses to work and communicate sustainability, credibility matters most. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do yourself. One thing is your own personal behaviour. Do you do everything you can yourself? We’re thinking plant-based living, avoiding air travel, recycling, sorting and more.
Of course, we should not point fingers at each other. We probably won’t get very far with that. Instead, we need to inspire each other. Conversely, if you want to communicate and work on sustainability, it might be a good idea to change your own lifestyle. The point is, if you know there are a lot of effective things you can do that won’t cost you extra, why not do them?
Conversely, if, despite that knowledge, you don’t change your lifestyle, your credibility may drop. Therefore, our recommendation is that you at least be aware of this and honestly communicate it. In other words, it follows the principles of greenwashing.
Furthermore, if you start changing your lifestyle, your mindset changes too, making you take things more seriously, professionally and thus increasing your credibility and passion for sustainability.
More examples of things you can do
Learn even more about what you can do sustainably without physical products, and especially how, in our online video course on sustainability and green marketing. In fact, the first 200 people to register can get in for free. Register now at grønmarketing.dk