Over the last several months we’ve talked to a lot of companies about their sustainability efforts. It’s been eye-opening to see the difference between companies that are thinking about sustainability as a core value and those that aren't.

When it comes to telling the story about your company, you’re always going to have more success if that story is truly core to your business. No matter how slick your PR firm, you’ll never match the authenticity of a company that has the mission baked into their DNA. Take the recent Allbirds announcement, for example. The San Francisco-based shoe company told the world that they were going carbon neutral. The announcement was beautiful and left no doubt that Allbirds is fully committed to a green future. Sustainability is clearly one of their core values, and has been from the beginning.

Purpose can’t be manufactured. You can’t design a PR campaign touting a social initiative and then do your best to live up to the hype after the fact. Your employees will know. Your customers will see through it. The public is smarter than you think.

The best marketing stories are born out of company values that were enacted long before they turned into PR. Maybe issues related to the planet and sustainability aren’t ever going to be core values for your company. That’s OK. Figure out what it is you care about that is more important than quarterly earnings. Once you know, write it down for only the founders to see. Then start taking action. Your employees will notice, and your good actions will have positive consequences, like better employee retention. Only after you’ve walked the walk should you talk the talk. There is nothing wrong with telling the world about the causes you care about, but let this conversation follow real and substantive action.

At Cloverly we care about the planet, and we believe that carbon offsets and renewable energy credits are important tools that helps spur renewable energy production. Our goal is to make them more accessible and transparent. If being green is central to your company’s mission, we’d love to talk!