Sustainable strategy - CT

Steps To Building A Successful Sustainable Strategy

Published on March 23, 2022 by Alex Holliman
Whether you work as a marketer in-house or through an agency, sustainability matters. Sustainability is more than a trend. It is about building a better future.

Understanding the Challenges of Sustainable Marketing

Our research shows that both agency (26%) and client-side (25%) marketers agree that the most important way to drive the sustainability agenda is to create a sustainability strategy. These statistics also suggest that the presence of comprehensive sustainability plans are still lacking across the marketing industry. 

All said, the challenge of crafting a long-term sustainability strategy can feel equally daunting for inhouse and agency marketers—but in different ways:

For in-house marketers:

Consumers and customers are driving the need for businesses and brands to communicate their sustainability goals and credentials. 

To prepare to build sustainability strategy, client-side marketers need to: 

  • Get comfortable with the measures that will help you understand your company’s performance.
  • Develop an approach to communicating your sustainability goals. 
  • Ensure that your sustainability strategy is in line with your long-term business plan. 

For agencies:

Businesses are reviewing their supply chains to ensure they are sustainable and ethical. After all, 35% of clients will only work with agencies with strong sustainability credentials.

To prepare to build a viable, sustainability strategy, agencies need to:

  • Ensure your agency’s sustainable practices are up to par.
  • Develop a plan that will allow your agency to maintain partnerships and win new business. 
  • Create a language that will effectively communicate your sustainability goals to current and prospective clients. 
Sustainable strategy - CT

Whether you are an in-house or agency-based marketer, before creating an actionable strategy, you need to know where you stand and then build a concrete plan. 

Taking the following steps will help you build, manage, and maintain long term sustainability goals that fit your company’s big picture and long term goals. 

5 Steps to Creating a Sustainability Strategy

Start by outlining your business’ strategic ambitions and sustainable goals for the immediate and long-term future.

Keep in mind that sustainability always encompasses a diverse range of perspectives. So you’ll want to ensure that you cover all the most essential bases—from carbon emissions and environmental impact to ED&I initiatives and social impact.

No matter what department manages your sustainability strategy, make sure that it will be a priority. 

Ideally, sustainability agendas should be driven by an experienced senior leadership team. Some companies have their own dedicated CSR/ESG departments. However, smaller agencies more often choose to leave sustainability plans in the hands of HR or marketing teams.

If you’re a marketer grappling with this, seek specialist external experts to support you.. Climbing Trees work with Small99 to stress test our strategy and initiatives to ensure we are living up to what we say we will do. 

Bring your sustainability goals to life through your marketing initiatives. 

Share sustainable initiatives in your external marketing campaigns. A recent report from Deloitte UK finds that one in three consumers no longer purchase brands or products that raise sustainability or ethical concerns. Stay close to the senior team and broader business goals to ensure that your communications accurately reflect the reality of your sustainability strategy.

Different departments can all work together to bring your sustainability goals to life. 

An easy way to communicate your sustainability initiatives internally is to work hand-in-hand with HR and your internal communications team every step of the way. Your people are the ones who will be bringing your strategy to life with initatives on the ground. 

You’ll want to be sure your marketing suppliers, tech,  and processes and personnel are on board and aligned to the strategy as well. 

If your business sets strategic goals to reduce carbon emissions, make sure your marketing campaigns support this.

Digital’s innovative Digital Declutter Tool will help you stay on top of your carbon emissions involved in digital marketing campaigns and minimises digital clutter.

And you can also use this all-in-one digital marketing management package to track the reach and impact of your sustainability messaging campaigns—allowing you to continually fine tune your future sustainability strategies.

Sustainable Digital Marketing for a Sustainable Future

Here at Climbing Trees, we are a positive digital marketing agency that cares about the planet and our people. 

We take a uniquely proactive approach to creating sustainable long-term digital marketing strategies that will help launch responsible businesses into a better future. 

We also believe in practising what we preach, which is why we have joined the UK B Corp Movement. And we are currently in the process of obtaining our own elite certification to establish that we are here to build the type of sustainable future that works for all businesses. You can find out more about our impact here. 

We are always interested to meet with other agencies and marketers that share our values so get in touch to create a shared sustainable future.