The United Nations conference, COP 21, the Sustainable Innovation Forum that gathered over 190 countries, recently took place in Paris. The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C. The agreement is due to come into force in 2020. We take the opportunity to study how companies that have implemented eco-responsible approaches have positive effects on their online reputation.

Environmental factors are becoming more and more important according to consumers. 55% of global online consumers say they are willing to pay a little extra for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

Consumers are no longer the only ones affected by environmental issues, businesses are now setting up environmental footprints in their business plans and strategies.

How do eco friendly actions price your online reputation? Here is what Apple and Weleda have already implemented. Their strategies may inspire you to set up eco friendly approaches in your business.

Eco friendly approach: Apple & Ecology

Since 2014, Apple has elaborated various ecology actions and publishes yearly an Environmental Responsibility Report. A way to seduce even more customers, to take action in preserving our planet and to differentiate the business in a sector where the number of eco practices is insignificant.

Extensive projects
Before the COP21 even began, Apple was already part of the coalition of 13 companies ready to act against global warming.
Apple opened data centres entirely powered by solar energy, and by January 2016, Apple aims to be the first solar-powered company in Singapore. The products are also becoming eco-friendly, the new iPhones 6S and 6S Plus have had their carbon footprint reduced by 2 points in comparison to the previous iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Meticulous Communication
Apple also communicates on its ecological preoccupations. The video “Better Starts Here”, launched by Apple in April 2015, highlights the importance of living in a better world.

The Californian business also has a dedicated page on the website: “Environment”. The webpage evokes the ecological awareness, from the first phrase: “We believe true innovation must consider everything.” This page gives Apple the opportunity to speak about sensitive issues such as the use of recycled and/or ecological materials.

Although the company still admits, they still have a long way to go, Apple benefits from its notoriety to have large repercussions in the media and towards internet users. Apple can also maintain its competitive advantages, by influencing a group of individuals that are concerned about environmental issues, and reassure all actors about their pollution emissions.

Although reviews often have a negative connotation, Apple is known to take the internet users’ reviews into account to improve the products to needs and consumer behavioural changes.
Online communication actions attract and reassure customers in a world where environmental issues are momentous. According to the Nielsen Institute, brands websites are excellent publicity vectors: in 2015 they inspired confidence for 70% of internet users, against 60% in 2007.

Accepting their imperfections, sharing and explaining the progresses of the business have allowed Apple to reinforce their communication actions.

Last year, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, published the company’s environmental projects on Twitter:

Weleda, a trustworthy organic actor

A Swiss organic and naturel cosmetic brand, founded in 1921. Weleda the natural cosmetic leader, that has offered a series of outstanding actions and that has never stopped combatting environmental issues.

Weleda adopted in 2011 standards for sustainable packaging and has established environmental tests for the packaging’s that already existed.

With a variety of actions in place, Weleda ensures authenticity with its “Natrue” label that should guarantee the natural authentic character of its entire range of products. From the product conception to the packaging, each action proves that Weleda has developed responsible commitments on all levels.

Internet users are particularly involved in the subject. Generating robust debates and sharing positive reviews on forums and social media, attract potential users and customers. The company has now become an influencer by offering adapted arguments.

More importantly, Weleda promises its actions, with simple declarations, but more importantly with concrete evidence, such a labels and patents.

The “Historical” brand, Weleda has known how to maintain its credibility on its highly competitive market, by combing commercial and environmental focuses. With this in mind, the brand has maintained its leading position on its market and its attractiveness to its highly sensitive customers to environmental issues.

Communicating on sustainable development actions

Eco friendly actions to improve businesses brand image. Far from being simple marketing concepts, the actions show the actual craze of businesses for ecological issues.

Consumers are more demanding and aware of environmental values. They have also become highly reluctant, especially due to greenwashing, a business practice that consists in using false environmental arguments to sell their products that are not always “green-friendly”.

Companies that have launched actions in favour of sustainability must communicate, to bolster the companies actions! It will interest key stakeholders and improve your brand image offline and online.