24/11/2022 Sustainability and marketing communication

Today’s objective

In this session, you will learn how to:
• See sustainability as an income opportunity, not a cost
• Design sustainable experiences
• Communicate persuasively
• Change consumer behaviour

Companies greenhush, to not seem incompetent

70% of your sustainability actions are NOT communicated.

  • Font, X., Elgammal, I. and Lamond, I. (2017) Greenhushing: the deliberate under communicating of sustainability practices by tourism businesses, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 25(7) 1007-1023.

Five benefits of sustainability marketing and communication

  1. Improve your service
  2. Improve your customer satisfaction
  3. Increase your customer expenditure
  4. Increase loyalty and reduce seasonality
  5. To attract new customers is more costly and complex
1.Improve your service
  • 1a. Ask nicely
  • 1b. Be trustworthy 1c. Be honest
  • 1d. Be humorous
  • 1e. Be engaging


1A. Ask nicely

Take care to design your sustainability communications.

Signage that uses your logo and has been desk top published and then displayed with care produces higher results with your customers

Avoid “be eco-friendly” and “we buy sustainable whenever possible”



1B. Be trustworthy

Evidence Empathy

Write in first person, include a photo of the owner/manager

Testimonials of food suppliers


1C. Be honest

Don’t tell me to reuse the towel to save planet earth.

Current message:

Every day, in hotels all over the world, tons of towels are washed and washing powder is used, which contaminates the water.

Please decide!

New best message:

Reuse me tomorrow.

Just like at home.


Large towel                Small towel

38% -> 49%               43% ->56%


Test conducted:

English, German and Spanish text 9,790 guests nights

1/09/16 – 23/10/16

TUI Magic Life Fuerteventura.


1D. Be humorous

It is easier to change someone’s behaviour if you share a joke than if you make them feel forced to do it against their will, or if you are all doom and gloom.


1E. Be engaging

Personal and social values

“we share the same values” message

“What I’m finding more and more as I travel and talk to parents, is the overwhelming number of you who are becoming desperate to help their children to engage with the real world and leave behind the screen of a computer, phone, Playstation, X-Box…”


2.Improve your customer satisfaction

2a. Make them feel good

2b. Use appealing language

2c. Tell customers what’s in it for them 2d. Make it easy

2e. Help them take decisions


2A. Make them feel good


Menu descriptions, provenance statements

Show you care by cross selling (help them book activities with other providers)

Using Fairtrade sugar and organic coffee

Show and share the pride of the difference you made, together.

2B. Use appealing language

Appealing first, factual as backup Storytelling for emotional appeal The bird menu…

2C. Tell customers what’s in it for them

Fresh, trustworthy, more enjoyable

Kitchen waste Roof insulation Showers

Air conditioning


If you are asking your customers to change their behaviour, offer them something in return

Put the client at the centre of the experience works for all messages

2D. Make it easy for them

Take the stress and responsibility out of making choices about sustainability for your customers.

Instead provide the sustainable product as the natural choice, and have evidence available to back up your choices

Make this part of better service


2E. Help them take decisions

Present information that is useful at that point in time

Make it convenient, easy,the normal choice

  1. Pre booking/purchase
  2. After booking and confirmation

  3. On arrival/ start of the tour

  4. During the tour/ stay

  5. After the stay/visit


3. Increase your customer expenditure

“wow that’s really cool!” is what you are aiming for

3a.Make them feel special
3b. Give them things to do
3c. Improve the experience 3d. Package services

3a. Make them feel special

Unique service and sense of exclusivity increase willingness to pay

Offer specific products only for loyal customers

Across the border in East Yorkshire, England, local pubs and cafes are celebrating the birds’  return  to  form  by  selling ‘capuffincinos’, frothy coffees with a  chocolate puffin sprinkled on top.

3b. Give them things to do


Help them spend more (time and money) with you

3c. Improve the experience

Increasing the experience increases the willingness to pay Participate, experience Make them the protagonists

(Join the chef in selecting the vegetables and herbs for dinner)


3d. Package services

Essential/most known/highest sales products bundled with higher profit margin/ new to the market products

4. Increase loyalty and reduce seasonality

4a. Make them aware
4b. Weather proof your offer 4c. Add a calendar
4d. Give them reasons to recommend or return

4a. Make them aware

Reinforce their perception of having made the right choice by letting them know, post purchase, how their product also helps sustainability as well as being a better quality product.

4b. Weather proof your offer
What to do when:
  • There are midges
  • It rains
  • It’s too hot

4c. Add a calendar

What’s best about each month

Birds, flowers, Festivals Seasonal food

What your garden will

look like


4d. Give them reasons to recommend or return

Provide sustainability incentives appropriate to what the customer is worth to you

5.Attract new customers

5a. Understand buyer requirements

5b. Communicate b2b + b2c benefits

What do you see yourself doing differently after today?

We welcome you to beautiful Balkans & South East Europe!