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June 29, 2023

5 Do's And Don'ts When Marketing Your Sustainable Business

“Greener than Green and 100% Sustainable!”…
….said the brand that got done for greenwashing! 

By now we have all seen or heard of at least one business overpromising or over inflating sustainability efforts in their marketing – and getting caught out can have serious, long-term consequences!

Sustainability has never been more central to the cultural conversation. Successfully positioning your brand as positive for people and the planet can be both a challenge and an opportunity. 

It can be tricky to understand where, why, and how to communicate your sustainability messages, and getting it right can be just as important as taking steps towards becoming more sustainable!

So, how do you avoid the pitfalls and ensure that your sustainability messaging hits the mark? 

Here are our quick top 5 Do’s and Don’ts when positioning your organisation as sustainable.

The Do’s And Don’ts of Sustainability Messaging

  1. DO Keep It Simple Stupid!

Sustainability can be a complex topic, so clarity and simplicity is key. By using overcomplicated terms, you’re risking confusing your target audience, making more mistakes and claiming things that may not be entirely true. This can lead to turning people off your brand, so keep things clear and concise so your customers can understand and engage with your message.

At One Nine Nine, we specialise in helping you convey your sustainable efforts by developing a single-minded message that is easy to understand—using a clear and straightforward approach to help your brand stand out from the crowd. 

  1. DON'T Overpromise

Avoid setting unrealistic and unachievable goals – and don’t make promises to customers or in the media you’re not going to keep! People have long memories (and things stay on the internet forever!), and if you break your promises to customers, they will call you out on it.

Transparently documenting and taking visible steps towards your sustainable targets is essential. Setting attainable goals demonstrates your commitment to sustainability and builds trust with your audience. 

  1. DO Boast About Your Sustainability

If you’re doing it, shout about it!

Don’t be afraid to talk about your successes – even if you still have a way to go.

Sustainability is a process, and no business is perfect. As long as you’re moving forward, you should be celebrating the progress wherever you can. If you’re open and honest about where your business is, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there – it’s a great story you can use to promote the values of your business.

We can help you gain visibility in key target media and craft the right messages and campaigns that resonate with conscious customers – so you can be proud of your brand and your sustainability efforts! 

  1. DON'T Greenwash

Maintaining transparency and honesty is crucial. Whether intentional or accidental, greenwashing can severally damage your brand's reputation – and completely derail any future efforts to market your sustainability programme. 

Avoiding Greenwashing comes down to honesty – don’t lie, don’t oversell, and don’t make any claims you can’t back up.

Instead, let your customers follow and join your journey towards sustainability. Remember, the road to sustainability is a marathon, not a sprint. 

At One Nine Nine, we’re sometimes asked by prospective clients to “make us look green” – when these same businesses don’t have any credible claims to sustainability (or any plans to become more sustainable). Some ask us to exaggerate their environmental efforts. We always politely decline – because in the long run, it does everyone a disservice. 

  1. DO Get Expert Support

If you're unsure about your sustainability messaging, need guidance on strategy, or are looking for a partner to deliver your marketing campaigns, get help from an agency with a proven track record in the sustainability space. 

From crafting messages to delivering PR, content marketing and social media campaigns, we’re here to turn your investment in sustainability into commercial advantage.  

Why Choose Us? 

With years of experience in the sustainability sector, we have honed our expertise in writing about all types of sustainability, ranging from controversial topics such as palm and silicone to 100% natural disinfectants – we've done it all!

Every client has a unique perspective – and we’ll work with you to ensure we truly understand the value your business is bringing to the space. That means researching the topics we explore to effectively challenge, debunk, and critically examine pervading opinions and established mainstream narratives. We will empower you to market your sustainable journey truthfully, effectively, and comprehensively. 

The path to sustainability can be challenging. Therefore, we dedicate ourselves to guiding our clients through this process, ensuring a better and greener planet for all. 

Together, let's unlock the potential of your sustainable brand and make a positive impact on the world! 

Get in Touch

To find out more about who we are and what we do, please get in touch with our team at 01138444111 or email us at

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One Nine Nine
The Leeming Building
Vicar Lane, LS2 7JF