Metrics-bolstered Communications

Communicating on environmental metrics is sure-fire way to create tangible business value for your data. Sometimes, however, talking about communications to a sustainability manager can provoke a mixture of excitement and fear: excitement because there are often many meaningful stories to tell; and, fear because, if told, someone might call out greenwashing. Crafting a solid sustainability story is a process that will mitigate the risks while capitalizing on the momentum of what you have and will achieve.
Steelcase web tool

At Quantis, we've worked with leading companies, such as Nespresso, HP, Steelcase, Biotherm, AccorHotels and the UEFA Euro 2016, to build their sustainability communication stories and tools based on metrics. They trust Quantis' team of environmental sustainability experts because of this metrics-based approach. We consider robust metrics as the solid foundation for any sustainability communication story. It backs up your narrative and gives purpose to your message.  Based on this fact-to-act experience, we offer these...

Tip5 Tips for a Solid Sustainability Story

1 - Meet your audience: Learn what's important to them
Get to know your stakeholder groups, learn what is material, or a priority to them. This can be done with a materiality assessment , by surve ying internal teams, committees and boards, convening consumer-focus groups, analyzing web stats, asking your customer service depa rtment, on-the-ground sales' teams and, of course, via social media.
2 - Break-down the language barrier: Translate sustainability
First, you have to get people speaking the same language. Talk to your communications and marketing colleagues, those in procurement, product design, business development and even finance. Sometimes this means you have to translate the terms of sustainability into concepts, images and stories that all can grasp. Make sustainability fun and accessible to all stakeholders!
We have a cool board game that helps companies do just that. It's called the Life Cycle Perception Game , a business game that gets cross-functional stakeholders on board (literally) about sustainability. Even the European Space Agency is using it!
3 - Get the facts: Walk the talk with environmental metrics
Yep, you need the metrics to build any solid communication whether that be from a corporate or product perspective. Doing a corporate or product footprint can give you the metrics you need to bolster your sustainability communications and ensure that they are fact-based. It's a robust way to walk the talk. And, it's truly the only way to ensure your environmental sustainability message is credible.
4 - Be transparent: Come clean about your challenges as well as achievements
In fact, what your stakeholders want to know is that you are doing  something . And they want to know that you are basing your decisions on facts (see #3). Be honest about what you have achieved and what trails of your sustainability journey still seem like an uphill battle. Your stakeholders will appreciate your honesty and respect the journey even more.
5 - Find a happy medium: Get creative with your messages and channels
The most engaging sustainability stories are not told via spreadsheets and spider graphs (sorry to our fellow engineers) but are expressed through innovative mediums. Today's digital environment gives us a blank slate with which we can tell these meaningful stories. Do this via interactive online tools, videos, infographics, data vizualization, etc ( see below for more examples ). The options are endless - make it exciting!
Hopefully these tips have sparked some ideas. If you'd like more inspiration on how to communicate your sustainability story, join our upcoming webinar " A solid story: Tips from top food companies on how they communicate credibly on sustainability ". It will also feature some non-food examples.
For information on how Quantis helps companies prioritize sustainability objectives or to build a solid communications roadmap, contact our communications team.

Quantis Communications Services

More companies turn to Quantis for sustainability communication projects because they trust the metrics behind the message. By combining LCA expertise, design skills and communication experience, Quantis identifies key messages from your environmental measurement and molds them into strong communication support materials and strategies. These tools could be used internally to share results or to raise awareness for the business benefits of environmental measurement, or externally,  to demonstrate environmental efforts and engage stakeholders on sustainability initiatives.


Check out some examples of our sustainable communication projects, including:

Contact our sustainable communications lead, Carole Dubois to learn more.



Up Screen
Cambridge, MA, USA  - Apr 14-16th
Discover on day 2 the insightful biopharma case studies presented by Jon Dettling. The 4th annual Biopharma Sustainability Leadership Roundtable will focus on industry-specific challenges and opportunities, fostering an active network of colleagues.

InnovationsCentrum, Osnabrück, Germany - Apr 26th
Quantis will present the current sustainability trends of the industry, activities of leading companies and sustainable production techniques. 
Contact:  Michael Spielmann

Rome, Italy -  May 9-10th
Simone Pedrazzini will present "Methodological Guidelines for the Life Cycle Inventory of Agricultural Products"

New York, US - May 12-14th
Official release of the Quantis report on Sustainability in the Cosmetics Industry presented by Annabelle Stamm

Nantes, France -  May 22-26th
Experts from academia, government and industry will share the most recent knowledge on multi-disciplinary approaches to impacts on the environment from stressors, chemicals and technology. Quantis will present the environmental footprint of the event.

Atelier CDP France 2016
Paris-La Défense, France - April 12th
During this CDP event, Jean-Baptiste Bayart will highlight  the best practices related to water management and the  structure of the water stewardship journey.
April 5th - 7am CET / 1pm EST
"Science-based": This is a game changer that will help organizations tr ansition to the new economy based on scientific limits. But what does it mean for corporate goa l-setting? How does the approach differ from traditi onal targets? What can the new science-based methodologies, such as planetary boundaries, allow us to measure and manage? How are companies applying these frameworks?

Register for the webinar hosted by GreenBiz, to join Quantis, Mars, DTU and Intel to dig deeper into goal setting. 

April 7th 7am EST / 1pm CET 
Register now and learn from Jon Dettling and CDP with a practical and comprehensive guide on how to conduct water risk assessments within your business.

April 15th -  10:30am EST /  4:30pm CET 
Food companies are increasingly facing questions about their sustainability performance, policies, and strategies, yet many companies struggle to effectively and credibly communicate their sustainability story. 

Join Quantis' Sarah Mandlebaum and Lori Gustavus and partners Isabelle Gayral from Nespresso and Ying Wang from the Innovation Center for US Dairy to learn how these and other top food organizations are communicating on sustainability issues in a credible manner.
LCI The LCA Expert Corner

A Guide to Food-Specific LCI Databases

The Food Life Cycle Inventory Database comparison chart provides life cycle assessment practitioners with a practical guide to finding reliable and consistent LCI data on farming and food processing. The chart is not a comprehensive list of all food databases but covers the majority of high quality, transparent, LCI data recently available for food production: AGRIBALYSE v1.2, Agri-footprint 2.0, AusLCI, ecoinvent 3 and WFLDB3.0. The guide helps to compile and compare essential information about the database developers, data documentation, and how to use the data in LCA. All of these databases are updated and improved continually so consider this a snapshot of the current state of food LCI data as we enter 2016.

Please download the guide  here.
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