We Need to Communicate Our Industry’s Sustainability Efforts

Bloomington, IN – At 55 million, Millennials are now the largest generation in the American workforce, according to an analysis by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Further, studies tell us that these Millennials are much more sustainability-focused than previous generations.

To attract them to our industry, says Stephen Ashkin, president and CEO of Sustainability Dashboard Tools, LLC, jansan businesses will need to actively communicate their sustainability efforts, initiatives, and successes.  “Effective communication is critical. Millennials want to know if our companies and our industry are part of the problem or part of the solution.”

With this in mind, he provides four tips on how jansan leaders can communicate their company’s sustainability efforts and successes:

Blogs and social media. Millennials are content-focused and avid social media users. Many companies now employ blogging for marketing purposes, “but these blogs should also discuss the organization’s sustainability programs. Linking them to social media sites will help spread the news about those efforts.”

Partner transparency. If your organization purchases goods and services from a company that is not practicing sustainability in its own business operations, then, as far as these young people are concerned, the entire program is defeated. “Make sure Millennials know who [your company’s] business partners are and that they share the same goals and vision.”

Creating a culture of sustainability. A culture of sustainability often follows a down/up path. The staff creates sustainability initiatives that drift up to the C-Suite. “Encourage this and praise their ideas and successes throughout the company.”

Engagement. Sustainability “engagement tools” project an organization’s sustainability efforts onto large monitors. At least one of these tools can also translate information so that Millennials can understand and relate to it. “If a firm says they are using 500,000 fewer gallons of water today than three years ago, what does that mean? [We need to] make those numbers relatable. Five hundred thousand fewer gallons of water is enough water to supply five homes in the U.S. for one year.”


About Stephen Ashkin and The Ashkin Group

Stephen P. Ashkin is president of The Ashkin Group, a consulting firm specializing in Greening the cleaning industry, and CEO of Sustainability Dashboard Tools, which helps facilities monitor and measure their use of natural resources.  He is known as the “father of Green Cleaning” and the professional cleaning industries leading advocate promoting sustainability.  He is also coauthor of both The Business of Green Cleaning and Green Cleaning for Dummies, and a member of the Green Sports Alliance.