Sustainability is no longer optional in any industry.
It’s a significant transition that could make or break a company’s relationship with its investors.
The financial logic behind this is simple: more and more consumers are hopping on the green train, and any brand that isn’t on board will either be ignored or canceled by society.
It’s a very real threat to business, and simply having a plan won’t give your shareholders a guarantee for their money.
You need to be able to talk to them about it and persuade them that you’re going green for good.
Use Language They Know
It’s tempting to use sustainability jargon to assure your investors that you’ve done your research and you’re fully immersed in this endeavor.
Your printouts are riddled with terms like”circular economy,” carbon sequestration,” and”collaborative consumption.”While these may be technically accurate, they don’t serve their purpose if all they do is baffle your investors.
Unless you’re sure your investors are green warriors or formally educated on sustainability, the presentation you give them has to be in simple terms.
If you’re going to use”circular economy, “put it in the context of its more familiar counterpart, which is the”make, use, dispose of”crux of a linear economy. Instead of”conscious capitalism,” explicitly say that the core of your profits and services aim to benefit the environment.
Go through every text and media you’ll present to them and erase the ambiguity. The more concise and comprehensible your plan is, the easier it will be to get everyone on board.
Know What’s Important to Them
What are your top investors’Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) statements? Their take on climate change is important, but don’t overlook the other elements ofESGthat matter to them.
How does transitioning to green practices affect your talent management, labor practices, data security, and product safety? How meticulous are they when it comes to the quality of your equipment and labor?
If you’re in the food processing, paper manufacturing, or water supply industry, how much does it matter to them which large-diameter steel pipe suppliers you’re getting?
Preparing the data on these suppliers such as proof of their own sustainable practices and reasonable costs may save you from sudden scrutiny.
This is particularly important when you’re personally presenting your sustainability strategy, as any uncertainty or delay in providing the information they need can lead to doubts. Tailoring the discussion to suit theirESGstatements can simplify the overall process.
Prioritize the Long-Term Investors
All your investors are important, but it’s wise to focus on your long-term ones. These are the people who are interested in investing in your company for several years.
They are the ones who will likely take more risks in hopes of getting better returns in the future. As such, when you tailor your presentation or discussion, you’ll want to make sure that you win these people over first.
It’s not practical to talk about the company’s plans for the next five to ten years if the investor isn’t looking to stay with you for more than a year.
If you can, discuss this separately with your long-term and short-term investors so that your presentation gives them exactly what they want to hear. This way, you’ll cater to both investors’ needs and guarantee their approval better.
Managing the flow of information between the essential officers of your company and its investors is a crucial job. Equip them to make the right strategies and maximize the power of timing when discussing sustainability with your investors.
The more confident they are of the agenda, the higher your chances of succeeding in this green enterprise.