Apr 18, 2024 / by Stephen Erhorn

Although the cost of living has been rising in many parts of the world, public interest in environmental, social, and governance factors has never been higher. All of this was shared in our ESG Communication Trend Report

As consumers prioritize responsible consumption, businesses would be wise to reflect this trend in both their words and actions, ensuring that they are on the same page as their audience. Outside of environmental factors, research also shows that companies that embrace diversity and inclusivity in their workforce and at leadership levels are more dynamic and outperform competitors that fail to do the same.  

With this background in mind, you might be asking how you can communicate your brand’s position in a compelling press release about sustainability.

Read on to discover our top tips for telling your brand’s sustainability story.


#1: Tie it to a Trending Topic (but avoid newsjacking)

The calendar is full of international occasions dedicated to noteworthy causes that motivate people to take action in the spirit of sustainability. Global Recycling Day, International Day of Forests, and World Water Day all take place within five days every March. With this in mind, highlighting your brand’s contributions to environmental and social causes on a relevant day can be a great way of helping to raise awareness of your chosen issue. 

This release from Kyocera highlights how its new ‘FOREARTH’ inkjet textile printer has enabled a huge reduction in water usage required for textile printing. Tying it to what would be a trending topic on World Water Day, the release announced a series of textile design exhibits held from 22-24 March, which coincided with World Water Day 2024.

Additionally, Kyocera enhanced the release by including a link to an artistic promotional YouTube video that further underscores the theme of water saving and highlights the contribution of the ‘FOREARTH’ printer to this goal. By following Kyocera’s example, you can elegantly link your next release to an upcoming celebration related to sustainability in a relevant and engaging way.


#2: Use Statistics to Share Progress

Tangible progress towards your sustainability targets is not only a sign that your organization is taking its commitment to responsible growth seriously, but it also provides journalists with the opportunity to report on the facts and figures that you can proudly highlight in your next release.

Take this progress report from SANY as an example. They used an infographic to give a condensed visual summary of some of the company’s most significant achievements in its decarbonization effort. By providing statistics-driven updates, SANY supports the 66% of journalists who are asking for more data elements to use in their stories based on our Definitive Guide to Crafting a Press Release.

As seen in SANY's release, it is good to focus on the tangible and positive steps that your initiatives are taking. If your company is mapping out its sustainability targets, include some numbers to let readers envision your plan in their heads. 

When your brand is trying to make a difference in people's lives, providing the statistics gives journalists an authentic story to repost.


#3: Tell a Positive Story about Your Initiatives

One of the primary goals of your press release is to persuade your audience to leave with a more positive outlook toward your brand than before reading it. With this in mind, engaging your readers by projecting an upbeat energy from the very start while highlighting the inspiring initiatives your organization is taking is a good idea.

The McBride Sisters Wine Company marked International Women’s Day with a press release to introduce the Wine & Spirit firm’s upcoming SHE CAN FUND initiative in 2024. 

All, to break barriers for underrepresented individuals in the wine industry and beyond. By using the headline to immediately outline the key tenets of the brand’s initiatives, the release pulls readers in with its optimistic tone.

Furthermore, by including a call-to-action in the lead paragraph, the author aims to drive home the main purpose, which is to encourage aspiring applicants to apply early in the release.

If your company is embarking on a sustainability initiative that you are proud of, follow the example of the McBride Sisters Wine Company and celebrate it! By adopting a positive tone, the chances of your initiative being more memorable would increase. There is nothing like leaving a good impression when you cast your brand in an optimistic and confident light.


#4: Drop the Jargon and Speak Your Readers' Language

Research shows that a significant majority of consumers in the US support responsible business initiatives. However, many have not had the time to study the meanings of terms like ‘ESG’ and ‘CSR’.

As such, you must write your sustainability-focused release in a way that the average reader can understand. Using scientific language may cause readers to lose interest before they can fully understand the gist of your latest initiative.

PMI Foods used this release to highlight their collaboration with One Tree Planted to plant 10,000 trees in the Amazon region, a significant landmark on their long-term commitment to plant 1,000,000 trees. By clearly outlining this ambitious but measurable goal, PMI Foods is providing readers and journalists with something easier to digest instead of drowning them in jargon. 

Sometimes, jargon can come with reports about afforestation or carbon sequestration. The release also provides a management view on the development with a quote from the President of PMI Foods. He outlines why the initiative aligns with the company’s ethos of “feeding people and being good corporate citizens," providing a relatable and inspiring quote for writers to use when sharing this story.

When preparing your next release about your company’s environmental or social initiatives, remember that using clear language and eschewing scientific jargon or niche buzzwords is the way forward.


#5: Make Sure Your Achievement Resonates with The Audience

Making significant strides in your company’s sustainability journey is something to be proud of! Of course, wanting the credit for your hard work is only natural and a press release is a chance to directly link a big milestone with your brand. After all, all of your brand’s efforts would also contribute to morphing the reputation of a socially responsible company.

This release from Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most iconic brands, announced the launch of their new bottles in Hong Kong made from 100% recycled plastic. By incorporating the brand’s world-famous visual identity in the two eye-catching images, it draws a direct association between the environmental impacts of transitioning to recycled plastic and the product itself. 

Likewise, an engaging introduction that outlines how the new packaging helps to drive Coca-Cola’s sustainability agenda forward can provide journalists with plenty of information to write about. This release successfully tied the story of corporate responsibility to the brand and product in question. 

Following Coca-Cola’s example, we recommend using your next release to incorporate visual elements unique to your brand to allow readers to associate the story with your brand. By ensuring that the text exudes enthusiasm for your company’s initiatives and that the images include your logo and signature color scheme, you can strengthen the idea that your company puts sustainability at the forefront of its activities. 



A press release is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the positive steps your brand is taking on its sustainability journey in a light-hearted, emotive, and direct manner.  

As the salience of corporate responsibility continues to grow, your communication should create a lasting impression on journalists and readers of a company that cares about its impact on society and the environment.

Taking this into consideration, we advise you to bear in mind these great tips when preparing your next release about sustainability:  

  • Tie it to a trending topic (but avoid newsjacking!) 
  • Use statistics to share progress 
  • Tell a positive story about your initiatives
  • Drop the jargon and speak your readers’ language 
  • Make sure your achievement resonates with the audience!

If you follow these tips, your next release is sure to communicate your sustainability initiatives in an authentic way that will help build trust among readers.

For even more insights on how to build an effective sustainability communications strategy, we recommend checking out our ESG Communications Handbook here.

About Stephen Erhorn

Stephen Erhorn is an editor at Cision, based in Beijing. He uses his communications and PR expertise to support clients in refining and distributing their press releases.