Sustainability – The Hottest Topic in Development

How to sell the good work you’re doing

Developers, contractors, construction workers and the public in general have one thing in common that is a very hot topic for them – making everything from homes to hotels, offices to manufacturing plants, more sustainable. Everyone knows that it is a direction we need to go, but the biggest question that keeps arising is what does “sustainable” mean in building? How can building be done so that it is both sustainable and affordable? It’s a difficult combination.

From traditional urban and rural models, the US grew from the 1950’s forward with a great deal of urban sprawl, which meant a rise in suburbs, single family homes, business parks and shopping centers.  They all require a great deal of land as well as transportation to an ever-increasing geographic area. This requires growing costs, use of resources and expanding time commitments for both consumers and businesses.  In other words, some of these choices were not sustainable. 

What may have started as early as the 1960’s is now a movement that makes the way people live, work and play a model that can move into future generations – and is therefore sustainable.  For companies who are willing to look at what this takes and provide ideas, developments, products, and services that focus on sustainability, the future is bright. For those who don’t think in terms of this, it may be time to examine some long-term evolution that will keep their own organizations more sustainable. 

Not all construction today is sustainable. There are issues of politics, affordability, a knowledgeable labor force, building materials and construction wastes that change with sustainable building.  Companies that have addressed how to deal with any or all of these issues to lower the carbon footprint of projects are a step closer to success than their traditional competitors. However, they too face the challenge of adequate communication to a plethora of important groups to make the good work they’re doing provide them with adequate monetary compensation. 

Since sustainability is a hot topic, it means it’s important to everyone in the industry as well as other businesses and consumers. The time for communication to these groups is now.  This communication has to do with selling developments, gaining contracts and attracting qualified workers. It is really marketing on several levels and is a matter of conveying the correct messaging to each of the various publics who are important to the future of the company.

One of the first rules of communication is to understand what is important to the person who is receiving the communication. That’s why we look at this as a marketing function. If messages about sustainability in your projects sent to each group, whether they are businesses or individual consumers, address the things that are of greatest concern to them, this communication will be recognized and appreciated.  These well-crafted messages, whether they are in the form of public relations, advertising, social media, or a direct sales effort, are key to building your brand in a positive light. 

Key takeaway to remember: Sustainability is a hot topic, but it’s not something you can just scream to the world that you’re using sustainable practices and expect the world to embrace your efforts. People need to know what you are doing, what benefits these things will provide, and why that makes you the right choice for them. That’s what good marketing for your organization is all about.  

Can your company benefit from a new or improved strategy? We can help you. Send us an email us at or call 619-906-5540 to get in touch with us.

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