Communicating your waste reduction and recycling performance can have a positive impact on how people view your business. A 2020 study of consumers by IBM and the National Retail Federation indicates that "awareness of global environmental issues is changing the habits of consumers wherever they live." The study indicates that these attitudes are driving brand choice:
- 77% of consumers indicate that it is moderately or very important that brands are "sustainable and/or environmentally responsible" and
- 76% indicate that they are seeking brands that "support recycling," identifying it as a moderately or very important brand attribute.
Given that sustainability has now become a key part of consumers’ decision-making process, it’s imperative that brands and retailers increase their focus and improve their ability to meet these preferences. This offers competitors of all sizes the opportunity to build trust, especially with Purpose-driven consumers. (IBM,“Meet the 2020 consumers driving change”)
Businesses of all types have also learned that a good social media strategy is critical because it can reach many people and it doesn’t have to be expensive. It also provides a direct interaction with customers. As part of your social media strategy, consider using your recycling success story to demonstrate your corporate commitment to sustainability! If you are tracking your waste diversion (and you should), share your goals and your progress at meeting those goals. How many pounds of recycling did you divert last year? Have you started a food waste composting program in your cafeteria? These are good, positive stories to share with the public. Tell your story!