Our research shows that embedding ESG (environmental, social, and governance) and social value (social, environmental and economic impact) has many benefits for your business. In addition, it is becoming increasingly important to investors, municipalities, staff and consumers. Conscious Coliving has begun hosting workshops on how to develop and communicate your impact strategy as a shared living businesses. This article recaps a part of a recent impact workshop and explores how to brand, market, and showcase your impact strategy.
Shared living businesses can showcase their impact in many ways
You can brand, communicate and market your impact strategy in many different ways, on both a B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) level.
On a B2B level, you can use corporate reporting, staff onboarding packages, vision and mission statements, planning applications, investor decks and more to showcase your impact and sustainability strategy.
On the B2C side, you can do this through your social media, website, blogs posts, onboarding packages, signage, wayfinding, sustainability events and more.
Let’s dive in and explore a few specific examples.
For instance, one of their latest impact reports showcases the level of impact they have had on elements including social support, waste management, volunteer activities, donations, and trees planted. They use this for both B2B and B2C reporting and communications.
In line with their corporate sustainability strategy, The Student Hotel have recently secured €145 million in social and environmental impact financing from UniCredit for their new Rome and Florence locations. The loan includes terms for the achievement of a BREEAM “Very Good” rating for both locations and adherence to the EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities as criteria for the green guarantee by SACE.
At POHA House, a new shared living company based in Germany, sustainability is at the core of what they do. Their mission statement on their website expresses this, and they say they are fostering ‘eco-conscious environments’ and creating spaces that protect our planet through sustainable building materials, low emissions and other green initiatives.
Employee Onboarding Packages
An example of a B2B employee onboarding kit that communicates its impact comes from Venn. Their employee onboarding kit is meant to be the first step in feeling a sense of ‘Belonging’ – one of their core values – and its various items are designed to help employees get around their new neighborhoods. In addition to this starter kit, their onboarding process includes an introductory tour of the neighborhood and of their localized ‘Life at Venn’ app.
Resident Onboarding Packages
Another example is Cohabs and their resident onboarding package. They give new residents a reusable water bottle, a tote bag that says ‘fuck plastic’ on it, up-cycled laundry baskets and other sustainable goodies. The Cohabs vision includes having homes with sustainable appliances, a rainwater harvesting system, solar panels, smart energy monitoring tools, recycled furniture and construction materials and other sustainability features.
Cohabs also uses signages and wayfinding to ‘nudge’ residents and embed impact and sustainability throughout their spaces and communications. The images show a few examples, like the ‘save water, drink beer’ sign, or even their weekly calendar which can be used to allocate people to recycle and compost, for example.
They also have communications about diversity and inclusion, which is one of investors’ main criteria for ESG reporting.
A similar approach can be done on social media, and / or a mix of cross channel communications. A shared living community in Lisbon called Same Same, for instance, often shares sustainable living tips, including the healthy eating guide and daily sustainability tips guide.
You can also see more about their sustainability vision here.
Sustainability & Impact Activities
Finally, there are a range of different initiatives you can do to promote sustainability and impact throughout your community, including neighbourhood waste clean ups, volunteering, education and awareness initiatives (e.g. impact movie nights) and so much more.
Venn have some inspiring examples of this, such as organizing 50+ ‘Give Back’ events a year, which is a great way to create a clear goal for your impact initiatives. They have clean ups, food rallies, community gardening and coffee give out events, amongst many other initiatives.
In this blog post, we have shared case studies of how shared living businesses around the world are showcasing their impact and sustainability strategies and goals.
In conclusion, there are many ways that your shared living business can communicate and showcase the impact that you are having.
Clearly and creatively communicating your impact is a smart marketing strategy that can support you in attracting aligned residents, staff, and investors.
Learn More at Our Workshop
To learn more on this topic, you can join our workshop on Developing and Communicating your Impact Strategy.
This introductory and interactive workshop covers:
- the benefits of ESG and social value to your shared living business
- the difference between ESG and social value
- the pros and cons of using existing frameworks/accreditations vs defining your own
- how to begin organizing your data
- developing your theory of change
- logic model exercises to bring about change and the results you expect to see
- measuring and reporting on your impact
- how to begin embedding your impact strategy into your shared living business
- examples for how to communicate your impact strategy
To sign up to our workshop on April 13th at 17:00 CEST/16:00 BST, you can follow the link below:
This article has been authored for you by:
Penny is passionate about the potential for shared living. She has a doctorate in sustainability and shared living, and an MSc in social research methods. She conducts research and consults on shared living projects.
Matt is responsible for designing community experience and impact strategies and measuring the social value of coliving communities. Matt is also a founding member and current Head of Community of Co-Liv and has worked for The Collective on their Impact Team.