Green messaging is in. Environmental buzzwords and promises have been emerging out of the marketing ether more and more each day. That is not to say that brands are actually going green. Hyperbole. Platitudes. Empty promises. Eco smoke and mirrors.

The post-millennial public is cynical and savvy. Waxing lyrical about generic ‘care' and ‘sustainability' will stimulate tumbleweeds and social media venom. Let's face facts, it is a challenge. Profit over environment the thought that proliferates within the public consciousness. Many brands become petrified and paralysed. One wrong word and it could be over. Nightmarish visions of the company logo strung up to a tree and bashed like a piñata flood the minds of executives. Better sweep it under the carpet. Find some sand and stick your head in it. Whistle nonchalantly and ignore the gargantuan elephant in the room hell bent on destroying your china tea set. 

Yes eco communication can be a minefield fraught with danger. However we must not be afraid. Once we strip away the hype and hubris, things become clearer. We unravel the nexus of consumer, brand and environment to reveal fundamental insights. A basic platform upon which your communicative strategy, methodology and execution can be built.

It is actually quite simple.

Three elements. One foundation.


Find simplicity. Forget fear_1


Strip away the cornucopia of verbose eco promises and flowery fluff – one thing remains. People aren't idiots. Generic Eric has a basic understanding of capitalism, fossil fuels, global warming.

It's so simple. Respect Joe Blogs and he will return the favor. Don't lie, don't distort, don't patronize. Think of it another way, how would you like to be talked to?  

The foundation of your green messaging is based on one thing.

Respect your audience.

It really is that simple.

Forget the hype. Keep it real.

Companies and businesses should create a green communication strategy based on these three principals





Find simplicity. Forget fear_2



People posses more intellect than an amoeba frolicking in the primordial ooze. Treat them accordingly. When it comes to the environment and your business practices just be truthful. Don't over promise, misdirect, manipulate or mislead. Consumers prefer one grain of truth versus a beach of bluffing. Honesty is always respected.


Find simplicity. Forget fear_3



In many minds brands are soulless corporate entities driven by the bottom line. Peter Public pictures fat cats ensconced in boardrooms counting their cash, plotting nefarious ways to pillage and plunder Mother Earth for maximum profit. It's a hidden world of conspiracy and devious dealings. A world denied to the average person. Open your doors and let people in. Pull back the curtain and explain your business practices. What you do, how you do it. Break down your processes. Illustrate your mechanics. You have nothing to hide so don't. Be as transparent as you can. Then people can make up their own minds.


Find simplicity. Forget fear_4



There's no point leading brains down the metaphorical garden path to a flowerbed of disappointment. Talk about your products and services simply, concisely – clearly. Anyone with a shred of cerebral prowess will be able to see through flowery prose and corporate jargon. Don't wrap your reality in superfluous wordsmithery. I want to know the facts about your product and operation. The clearer you are, the greater the consumer understanding which ultimately builds a relationship of trust and loyalty in the long term.


Find simplicity. Forget fear_5


Can't see the message within the Matrix?

It all seems fairly obvious so far. Yet after your pensive beard-stroking related epiphany new issues arise. How green are we? How green are our products? Do we actually have anything we can talk about HONESTLY,CLEARLY,TRANSPARENTLY? The good news is that you do. The key is to start looking at eco and green messaging expansively and holistically. It is not only about your company. It's actually about so much more. Multiple players. Multiple avenues to explore.







Say what?

Ok so it seems we have lots to talk about. But the possibilities can fry the ‘little grey cells' to quote a moustached Belgian detective. What should you focus on? Facts. Aspirations? Singular mission? Multiple areas? Let's see what your competitors are saying.

A fact driven, multiple messaging approach. Facts are neutral and thus less open to criticism. The use of facts makes things clear and shows honesty. People obtain information quickly. However how many of these facts stay in the mind versus a singular focus or strategy? Is the tone slightly cold and mechanical?

A white wash approach. Use ambiguous and abstract terms with multiple connotations and interpretations. This is classic smoke and mirrors. It looks like they are fairly on point but closer examination of the semantics reveals serious ambiguity. Avoid at all costs.

A Unique Selling Point - USP. Simple and singular is successful. This is a basic USP that sticks in the mind and easy to recall. They stand out from the competition. Yes all the details are not there, but the clarity is. In one second we get to know so much from so little.


Find simplicity. Forget fear_6


The power of semantics

When it comes to green messaging, the ‘how' is just as important as the ‘what'. In other words it's not just about the message, but how you communicate it - the lexicon, syntax and semantics. Remember we want to be honest, transparent and clear. However the truth can be ugly. So when we start to be honest, the fear of negative connotation has many brands jumping into a dark cupboard for a spot of fetal rocking.

The good news is that the English language boasts the largest vocabulary paradigm in the world. One can plunder the expressive depths, finding a semantic strategy to convey even the most apparently negative concepts.

Fly the flag. Make a mission.

In today's 140 character, #blessedwiththebest, Insta-story, please like my picture of a steamed sea bass starter, the attention span is minimal. Quick, digestible and memorable is often the key. It's easy to identify an idea you relate to and fly the flag accordingly. An overall customer facing green mission could hit the sweet spot. No lies or gimmicks. It must be something realistic yet inspirational.

This is by no means comprehensive. Or a set of rules one must follow to the letter. Rather a few musings to make your cerebral more verdant.