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What is sustainability fatigue… and do you have it?

At royall, we’ve noticed a stream of news articles regarding sustainability fatigue in recent months. Embracing a more sustainable lifestyle demands a persistent, comprehensive shift in behaviour, often with rewards that aren’t easy to see. No wonder we’re weary of it.

We live in a world driven by instant gratification, where we’re accustomed to immediate recognition for our efforts. And that’s really the trouble… when we recycle or participate in the circular economy, the situation doesn’t immediately transform. The news constantly brings headlines suggesting that our sustainable efforts are ineffective, not worth it, or that donated pre-loved items still end up in landfills, while recycled waste finds its way to the same destinations as non-recycled waste. If you want to find evidence that your efforts aren't worthwhile, you won't have to search far.

To overcome sustainability fatigue, perhaps we should acknowledge a few key factors:

1. People do now acknowledge the reality of climate change and its human causes.

There’s little denying the fact.

2. Behaviour change is a challenge.

People tend to value what they already have more than what they don't. Encouraging individuals to adopt more sustainable lifestyles often means asking them to part with something they are emotionally attached to in exchange for something unknown.

3. The extent of change required is overwhelming.

People flip between taking proactive steps and feeling overwhelmed by the lack of progress, contributing to a rise in climate anxiety.

It’s not all bad however… the good news is that sustainability has become a central focus for many businesses, especially at @royall and indeed, a routine part of growth and operations.

From sustainability strategies and Net Zero goals to the increase in B Corp certifications, reduced air travel policies, and the growth of sustainable products, many organisations are actively addressing sustainability concerns.

Here are strategies for effectively engaging your employees with sustainability communications:

1. Be positive and engaging.

Use fun elements to raise awareness, such as quick-fire interviews with subject matter experts or personal stories of individuals who have successfully changed their behaviour.

2. Don't let climate fatigue hinder communication.

Regularly update employees on sustainability progress, big and small. Show that your organisation takes sustainability seriously.

3. Introduce friendly competition.

Encourage sustainability initiatives like recycling, digital storage reduction, volunteering, or sustainability pledges with rewards for top performing teams.

4. Empower Your Employees.

Enable your employees to plan their own strategies, from energy-saving practices to digital decluttering.

5. Create System Change.

Share sustainability challenges with employees, as they may have innovative ideas for improving efficiency and reducing resource consumption.

6. Continuously educate.

Talk about carbon literacy and the impact of simple actions to increase understanding and encourage change.

7. Start a Movement.

Establish a community of employee advocates and champions through sustainability employee groups or Green Teams. This fosters engagement and positive action within the organization.

Do you need any help defining your plans and purpose when it comes to ESG? If so, royall are more than equipped and happy to help.

Contact us to find out how we can help you!

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