Alessia Calcabrini and Jamie Hamill
Sustainability, Behavioural Science
Sustainability Communications Need to Get Real

Despite a growing increase in conversation around action on sustainability issues from corporations, brands and the media – the environmental and social issues being addressed seem to be worsening, not improving.​

At Ogilvy Consulting, we wanted to understand why.​

Using our partner the comparative text analysis platform of our partner, Relative Insight, we have analysed the last 12 months of sustainability communications from the UK’s five most talked about brands, alongside the general population’s online conversations, and media commentary.​

We uncovered a disconnected conversation

​Firstly, on the issues being discussed and secondly, on the ways in which they were being talked about.​

​It seems that companies and brands have focused on the long-term, discussing issues within their operations at a supply chain scale, with the media following suit, leading on high-level agendas, sustainability targets and corporate investments.​

​Yet for the public, the sustainability conversation is focused on the day-to-day and the immediate future – on what to wear, how to recycle and sustainable ways to eat.​

It seems that everyone is having separate conversations, speaking a different language, when discussing the same issues.  We believe this disconnect is dividing us, at a time when the global community must come together to act.​

We call this the: ‘Action-Connection Dilemma.​

​To fix it, we believe that sustainability communications need to get real. That corporations and brands need to find better connection points between their efforts in daily life, to lead to positive behaviour change in the public.   ​

​Through the application of behavioural science in communications design, we can make this possible – and we expand on this at the end of the report. ​

After all, it is our thoughts and words that become our actions.

Download and access “Sustainability Communications Need to Get Real” here.

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