Once companies began to turn their sustainability programs into profit generating arms of their organization, people within the company championing green business were no longer referred to as "tree huggers" they became known as intrapreneurs.

Companies such as Ford, Coca-Cola, Toyota and many other startups have begun to use their sustainability in their marketing campaigns. However, concerns remain with this approach by those that see most green business initiatives as a waste of company time and resources.

Risks for Marketing Sustainability Plans Include:

  • Unknown consumer appeal
  • Lack of understanding from certain market groups
  • Concerns over differing views from consumers
  • Questions about how it affects buying behavior

Many companies have moved well beyond addressing these market risks and have implemented successfully. Others are still stuck at step one.

Sustainability practices are in the best interest of all organizations big and small. Incorporating sustainability can improve a company's operations, impact their communities, improve their reputations, and enhance their branding efforts.

There is so much competition in the marketplace that there is a good chance that your company will have competitors that can offer similar capabilities, quality, and even price.

In most cases, there needs to be a greater purpose or sense of value behind a brand's mission to attract a loyal customer base.

How can marketers leverage sustainability in their campaigns in a way that drives profitability?

Most companies have at least explored the idea of implementing a sustainability plan and elements of green business into their mission.

To achieve an ROI from their sustainability program, companies need to market their sustainability programs and infuse it with the core elements of their branding.

The sustainability program should be a profit generating arm the marketing depart can use as a source for rich content for blog posts, white papers, social media outreach, videos, and infographics.

The companies that are leading with sustainability initiatives make it an emphasis on their website where they frequently share relevant data, reports, and links to relevant studies.

Your content marketing efforts should showcase the value your organization offers to clients and the communities you serve.

Consider these key questions when telling your company's sustainability story:

  • How does your company benefit its clients?
  • What problems can you help people solve?
  • What types of ways does your company benefit society?
  • Who are your employees? How does their expertise contribute to the value your business provides?
  • What is your mission? Who is your organization passionate about helping?

Research shows that consumers are looking to make a deeper connection with the brands they do business with. Publicizing the sustainability program via content marketing using various strategic social media platforms, enables a company to create an emotional attachment with customers that share similar values.

Promoting your company's green technology, social innovation, and environmental initiatives, can result in receiving free positive PR exposure from the media.

As companies continue to find more innovative ways to use technology to solve the world's problems, we will begin to see more marketers leverage content marketing to tell the story of how their company is doing good and solving the problems that exist within society.

Are you with me on this or is green marketing just a fad that will fade away once the next marketing strategy flavor of the month comes out?