Deborah Chu

How to build the best sustainability webpage for your company

8 min Read
Man lying on green rooftop

Your business has been making some excellent eco-strides, and now you’re looking to shout far and wide about your progress by creating a sustainability webpage on your site. Excellent idea! If you’ve been scouting around for some inspiration, we’ve done some of the heavy lifting for you here. 

Below you’ll find the matrix we judged our favourite pages against. Note that not every page we’ve highlighted passes all the criteria, but we’ll point this out so that you can spot areas for improvement. 

Please feel free to use our matrix to help you create or improve your own sustainability webpage – it’ll ensure your page (and plan) walks the walk.

We asked... We looked for... Example
Does it have a plan that’s both inspiring and concrete?
  • A statement regarding their environmental impact.
  • Specific goals, actions and commitments to reduce their emissions within a robust timeframe (we’ve got this, people!)
  • Whether they’re opening up new opportunities in a green economy or demonstrating that a healthy environment makes good economic sense.
Have they published a sustainability report and set science-based targets?
  • A sustainability report that lays out in detail their environmental and social performance, usually published annually.
  • Science-based targets (SBTs). If they’ve signed up to the Science-Based Targets Initiative - even better.
  • There are also plenty of sustainability certifications out there that can help them prove that they're not just talking the talk, but walking the walk.
Are they being transparent about where their emissions are coming from?
  • A comprehensive break-down of where their environmental impact is greatest - and thus where change is most urgently needed.
  • Inclusion of Scope 1, 2 AND 3 emissions. Many companies only report Scopes 1 and 2, and to some extent, we get that! Our own emissions and energy usage is much easier to understand and calculate. But Scope 3 usually makes up the lion’s share of emissions in a company’s footprint, so it’s time to roll up the sleeves and do the work. Offsetting is an option in some places where reduction is impossible, but we've rounded up a few Scope 3 reduction ideas for businesses to try first.
Are they speaking to the values of their audience?
  • An acknowledgement of how their products and services (which their audience values or needs) benefit from or rely upon the environment.
  • Whether they’ve tapped into an ideal or emotion that underpins their ethos - is it togetherness? Love for the environment? Animal rights? Tying your eco-consciousness to something your audience already values about your company will help the message resonate far and wide.
Are they a beacon to other businesses in their field?
  • Whether information and methodology has been shared. For example, open sourcing their data, methodologies or green tech innovations.
  • An industry-leading green ambition: are they moving the dial? Are they poised to become the first climate carbon company of their kind? Be bold!
Have they looked beyond their emissions for potential impact?
  • All other ways they’re spreading the good green word, besides emissions reduction. Because global warming doesn’t exist in a vacuum - it crosses over with important matters around health, justice, culture, security, our natural environment… we could really go on and on. If they’re taking an intersectional view of their sustainability commitments, they get two-thumbs up from us.

Environmentally-minded shoesmith Allbirds has crafted a long-scroll, five-year timeline that’s realistic, comprehensive and ambitious. Instead of blah-blah about net-zero and hand waving in the direction of 2050, Allbirds’ sustainability webpage is upfront about the fact that they’ve only achieved carbon neutrality through offsetting. But they’re now aiming to become a truly climate positive company by 2030 through a transition to renewable energy and materials, as well as investing in regenerative agriculture in their wood production. They’ve also open sourced the carbon footprinting tool that they use on all their products, making it easier for other companies to better understand their own impact. Whatever the opposite of doom scrolling is, this is it. 

Global drinks slinger Heineken recently launched the next phase in their ‘Brew A Better World’ programme. Peel the label back on your dewy bottle of Birra Moretti and you’ll see a ten-year plan that’s truly raising the bar on Heineken’s commitment to climate action. Their timeline aims to further reduce carbon emissions by 30% along their value chain by 2030; treat 100% of their wastewater by 2023; and send zero waste to landfill by 2025. Want to do some more digging? Their annual report is available for all to read, and they’ve signed up to the Science Based Targets Initiative, ensuring they’re doing their bit to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Cheers to that. 

Cosmetics company BYBI (bye-bee? bib-ee?) have set out to become the world’s first carbon negative beauty brand by 2025, and it’s not at all skin deep – their carbon report for 2020 breaks down exactly how many metric tonnes of carbon they’re responsible for, where it’s coming from, and a plan to reduce their emissions by 25% all along the supply chain. However, while there’s much to love about BYBI’s ambitions, we’d like to see more details around how this 25% reduction will be broken down across the different parts of their business. Signing up to the Science Based Targets Initiative would be a great way of proving that these reductions are robust enough too. They also haven’t yet announced how they’ll be sequestering their carbon in order to become carbon negative. But we’re all ears. 

Born along the rugged Pacific Coast Range of British Columbia, Arc’teryx designs clothing and gear to get people into the great outdoors. The love that they and their customers share for the natural environment makes for a powerful emotional bolster to their sustainability plan, which will see a 65% reduction of their Scope 1-3 emissions by 2030. 

While the relationship between sustainability and the apparel industry will always be tricky, Arc’teryx are refreshingly transparent about the Life Cycle Assessment of their clothing (which essentially lays out the environmental impacts of your waterproof jacket across its lifetime, from production and transport to its eventual demise). They also have programmes in place to encourage shoppers to buy used or send their well-loved gear in for repair.

The many lockdowns we’ve experienced over the pandemic might’ve had us watching a bit more TV than usual, but according to Netflix’s sustainability page, a whopping 160 million households tuned in to stories about the environment on their platform this past year. Since climate change clearly has their viewers’ attention, Netflix have used this data point as a launchpad for their comprehensive Net Zero + Nature plan. Their targets include an emissions reduction of 45% from their production facilities by 2030; investment in carbon removal and capture projects; as well as participation in research into the carbon footprint of streaming. 

Their sustainability plan also includes an independent advisory board packed with a diversity of activists, scientists, policymakers and artists. Obviously we’re not all media giants capable of assembling such a star-studded line-up of advisors, but if Netflix have tapped the likes of Christiana Figueres and Dr Johan Rockström to look over their shoulder, it certainly speaks to their willingness to be held accountable. 

On the surface, maybe building insulation isn’t the sexiest of places to make change. But the construction industry accounts for 36% of global energy consumption and 40% of CO2 emissions, which means there’s massive opportunity for change. That’s pretty darn sexy, in our opinion. 

In 2011, Kingspan saw an opportunity to set itself apart from the pack, as well as create a new industry standard, by creating a Net Zero Energy roadmap that would see them run their operations on 100% renewable energy by 2020. Though they didn’t quite make it all the way there, they still landed amongst the stars at a very solid 75%. Also they’ve now got a raft of impressive, energy-saving metrics to boast about on their sustainability webpage. Given the success of their Net Zero Energy plan and all the kudos they received as a result, Kingspan have now also committed to a second ten-year sustainability programme this year called Planet Passionate, which pledges to further increase their use of renewable energy and halve the carbon intensity of their operations by 2030.

B2B companies may not be as visible or buzzworthy as B2C organisations, but making sustainable strides in an industry that hasn’t been seen to move as fast on climate action – and making headlines for it – will challenge peers and competitors to do better. 

Looking for inspiration on corporate climate action?

We’ve rounded up some of the biggest movers and shakers in 2020. You could be next.
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Danish biotech company Novozymes aims to harness the power of enzymes and microbiomes to bring about a better world for all. Given their love for those wiggly microscopic organisms, it's easy to see how the preservation of a healthy ecosystem aligns with their values; their sustainability webpage, however, also makes a strong case for why they care about the environment. For instance, energy efficiency and improved recycling of raw materials can help cut costs and boost a company’s bottom line. 

Novozymes hold themselves up to some pretty high standards as well, with a pledge to halve their own emissions, develop a circular waste management system, and run on 100% renewable energy – all by 2030. 

The ability and enthusiasm to ramp up climate action exists within your business. Guess where? It’s in your employees -- according to a UK-wide survey we commissioned this year, 55% of employees think businesses are not doing enough to tackle climate change. Pawprint is here to help you harness that people-power to bring about a better world for all. Book a demo with us today. 

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