Whatever you believe about climate change, the fact is that “going green” sells. Customers are looking for companies who respect the earth and conserve its resources. If you are such a company and you want potential customers to know it, be sure to hire writers who have enough understanding about environmental issues to write that way.
“A green, renewable energy economy isn’t some pie-in-the-sky, far-off future – it is now. It is creating jobs – now. It is providing cheap alternatives to $140-per-barrel oil – now. And it can create millions of additional jobs, an entire new industry, if we act – now.” —Barack Obama, US President
Marriott Hotels & Resorts has gone green. When I first came into contact with them, they were “greenwashing,” i.e. their website showed they were green but, as one of their hotel managers told me, he wasn’t really expected to act on it. Several months later they hired my team of water use auditors to audit some of their resorts and hotels in Southern California to see how they could save water. They carried out our recommendations, hotel by hotel, and now they are both water and energy efficient.
It started with the greenwashing—writers describing Marriott’s first green program on their website (letting guests choose whether or not to change linens every day). Marriott watched to see if potential guests would support it and they did. So Marriott took the next step and the next, advertising all the way. Now Marriott is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on utilities, and supporting the environment is one of their top priorities.
Not all writers know how to write green. Not all of them care about or understand environmental issues, the importance of going green, or the support that exists for a company to go green. Behind this type of writing there needs to be understanding. Why? Because a content writer needs facts to back up their writing and the language to give it credibility.
As a business owner, have you taken steps to “go green”? Have you let customers know? Would you be interested to see how potential customers might respond? If you can identify an area where you could go green (or already have), a good environmental copywriter could write an article for your website that you could follow with a comments section. The article could invite visitors to let you know how they feel about your plans or actions and to give further suggestions, thereby establishing your sincerity and giving you guidance as to what to do next.
Susette H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.