In reality, am I green?

We live in an era when the “green” seal is increasingly present in the lives of people and companies. Ecological, sustainable, and eco-friendly products, good practices for separating waste and saving water and electricity have entered our daily lives. Sometimes for ethics, sometimes for fashion, sometimes just because we follow what is established.

Environmental concerns are, apparently, of a simplicity that makes it seem like it is a matter of “goodwill”. But isn’t it a matter of strategy? Is it, therefore, so simple to change behaviours and attitudes without (re) thinking about policies, economic practices and even ways of communicating?

If it is true that ecological concern of companies has increased, it is also true that many do so almost unconsciously and aimlessly. Disaggregated actions that solve specific and momentary problems, but that do not allow the creation of a truly more sustainable and economically viable future path.

The definition of an environmental communication strategy helps to structure the brand’s position in the face of this problem. Demonstrating how the company behaves when faced with ecological issues is a factor of differentiation and competitiveness.

It is not enough to have value. It is pivotal to communicate value. The environmental value of Portuguese brands is very high, but still very unknown.

Communicating is also raising awareness and contributing to educate. There are several tools placed at the service of environmental awareness and education which are huge assets: awareness campaigns, digital communication, educational kits, teaching materials, ecological stands, eco-design, thematic workshops, team building or development of partnerships strategies are just a few examples.

But this strategy must have a genuine concern and position in its genesis. It must reflect the spirit of the brand and the impact that its methodologies have on the planet and do not just be a promotional medium in line with a potential global trend.

Awareness, reflection, implementation, communication. I believe that there is still a long way to go but that it will be accomplished successfully if a constant and solid work is implemented by all for the sake of a truly sustainable future.

Teresa Juncal Pires, Director of the Department of Communication and Environmental Education