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Sustainability Seminar: Advice for Talking the Talk

Last week’s joint sustainability seminar, presented by Dix & Eaton and Summit Energy Services, Inc., focused on walking the walk and talking the talk. Appropriately, we covered the walk first, and my previous entry hits the highlights on that subject.

Now, about talking the talk, here are my recommendations:

- Start small and build, by focusing on a particular audience or issue, utilizing existing communications tools, and committing to continuous improvement.
- Dare to be a leader, which could include taking the “high road” when dealing with a tough issue and even “sleeping with the enemy” in pursuing joint problem-solving.
- Manage reputation and perceptions just like you manage the technical aspects of your sustainability program; great performance on the technical and operational aspects of sustainability is not enough for a achieving a good reputation and positive perceptions.
- Avoid both greenwashing and greenblushing, the latter of which ThreePs is introducing as “limited or no information disseminated by an organization so as to understate or ignore its commitment to and actions on environmental responsibility.” It means you’re walking the walk but you’re too unsure, shy or wary of recognition to talk about your performance.

Put the walk and the talk together and you’ve got the makings of a successful, sustainable program.

You can also follow the conversation as it happened by searching for #wwtt on Twitter. Thanks to all who attended and have been following the online conversation.

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