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Marketing and Comms
Communicating Sustainability:
How Do We Go From Talking to the Wall to Preaching to the Choir?

Calling all innovators and creatives! During April 2013, Sustainable Brands will be publishing a new “Issues in Focus” editorial package highlighting the most effective and engaging examples of sustainability communications.

Guest editors Thomas Kolster, author of Goodvertising, and David Willans of Futerra are seeking articles, interviews and case studies for publication throughout the month.

The Issue in Focus

From our perspective, "brand" is who you are, what you do, how you do it — and then, how you communicate it.

In April, we will examine how today's brands are innovating in the area of sustainability communications — through thought-provoking ads, memorable and creative mission marketing and social media campaigns, and other creative forms of engagement. We’re looking for examples of forward-thinking messaging, challenging opinion to spark debate, creative communications that work and insight that moves the field forward.

Content creators for good

Join us as we explore a brand guide to collaborating with influencers and their audiences, as well as the role of content creators as brands themselves in the behavior-change movement, at Brand-Led Culture Change — May 22-24 in Minneapolis.

Article ideas are due by Wednesday, March 13.

Content guidelines

Our readers are business leaders seeking information about how others are profitably innovating for sustainability and effectively communicating their innovations and brand value to stakeholders. They seek insights and ideas that might be applied across market sectors about how to drive top-line growth while successfully engaging stakeholders in the value of sustainability.

We evaluate submissions based on currency and relevance of the example or idea presented, balance of perspective, strength and clarity of content and delivered principles. See our Writers’ Handbook for further guidelines.


Written (600-1000 words), audio and/or video perspectives. Focus areas include:

  • How brands are communicating the toughest issues in their industries (ex: Coke's anti-obesity campaign)
  • The connections between brand value, shareholder value and sustainability
  • Show me the money: The business case for communicating sustainability
  • How mission marketing can actually work for a brand
  • Evidence of success: Behavior change? ROI? What works and what doesn’t?
  • Can a sustainable lifestyle be sampled?
  • The challenges and opportunities of communicating sustainability globally vs. locally
  • How brands can use their voice to help consumers embrace change, make sustainable lifestyles “normal”
  • Product transparency: How do you make it easy and effective for consumers?
  • Bored with facts, we want emotions: How do you move sustainability from USPs to ESPs?
  • For sustainability, what’s beyond ESPs?

Marketers, creatives, account handlers, strategists, sustainability experts — anyone finding original and engaging ways to communicate sustainability.

Specific idea pitches due by end of day Wednesday, March 13; editorial selections will be made by Wednesday, March 20 and author final submissions are due by Wednesday, March 27.

Share a one-paragraph to one-page overview describing your most successful (or unsuccessful) ideas, initiatives, campaigns, implementations and takeaways from your company, industry, students, staff, etc.


We’re looking for leading-edge thinking, campaigns and actions with challenging opinion, fresh perspectives and metrics as proof of success.

Preference will be given to pieces that provide perspectives with enterprise-wide and ideally market-wide implications and applications.

Send submissions to:

Thomas Kolster, guest editor
David Willans, guest editor
Jennifer Elks, managing editor


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