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What? Changes for improved sustainability can be implemented in various areas of a company and ultimately result in a holistic green corporate strategy. For example, production processes can be made environmentally friendly, sustainable materials can be used, Co2 can be saved in transport, or renewable energies and electric cars can be used.

Why? The more comprehensive the change, the more interesting the company and its goods.

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What? Some industries are per se harmful to the environment and anything but sustainable.

Why? Even the possibility of offsetting one's Co2 consumption by making a donation does not immediately make flying by air cleaner. The same is true when cruise lines or the coal and petroleum industry are given a "green label". The target group is largely aware of this, which is why such campaigns can be perceived as greenwashing. An alternative in the examples mentioned would be to focus on other sustainability goals that can also be credibly represented by the brand in question. For example, through social commitment.


Example: A cruise company advertises with Green Cruising because it has made a small part of its fleet of cruise ships a little more environmentally friendly.

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What? With the help of a variety of certificates, you can have the sustainability and social responsibility in your own company certified. Long-term cooperation with an NGO that certifies the products is also possible.

Why? There is a risk of flop with own certificates. These are often perceived as greenwashing.

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What? The company presents itself as sustainable because it adheres to the applicable standards.

Why? Adhering to applicable laws should be self-evident. It is not an outstanding merit. Therefore: danger of flop.


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What? A public welfare or sustainability campaign is initiated that, at first glance, has nothing to do with the company and might even harm the sales of its products.

Why? Such an approach creates sympathy and credibility and creates personal touchpoints with the target group.

Example: The outdoor clothing brand Patagonia promotes the sustainable use of clothing by advertising the repair of broken clothing and reselling worn clothing.


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What? The product itself serves marketing by being sustainable.

Why? Sound sustainability is crucial here, which includes, for example, the supply chain and the business model. If this is the case, all marketing measures in principle serve the sustainability communication.

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What? Budget and other resources invested in the marketing campaign are disproportionate to the sustainability measure itself.

Why? The impression is created that the company's image is more important than real sustainable change. This does not go down well with an environmentally conscious target group.

Example: Campaign of a beer producer to save the rainforest with the purchase of a beer crate. In fact, however, the advertising budget was higher than the donation. In addition, no new trees were planted as the money was used to equip rangers of a national park.

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What? Interactive actions such as an event to collect rubbish together in a nature area or the planting of trees can also be a marketing tool for a company.

Why? Participatory actions show that a company is getting involved itself and also encourage employees to deal with the issue of sustainability. They are especially useful in connection with other efforts, when many participants come together and regularity is established. Nowadays, however, such actions are no longer a unique selling point.