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Earth Day 2021: How Brands can Stand Out and Build Trust using Sustainability Visual Communications

Date: 20/04/2021

Tomorrow, April 22nd, marks Earth Day 2021.

Earth Day is a day of increasing importance with every passing year, due to the rising concerns surrounding global climate change. However, looking back on the past year, one in which a deadly pandemic gripped the globe, against a backdrop of record-breaking climate-change events including apocalyptic wildfires, the worst Atlantic hurricane season, Artic sea ice loss and rising temperatures, to name but a few.  If not for COVID-19, climate-related extreme weather events would have been the top news story.

In such a difficult year, Earth Day’s 2021 theme, to “Restore Our Earth”, couldn’t be more fitting. Kathleen Rogers, president of, has expressed that

“At the heart of Earth Day’s 2021 theme, is optimism, a critically needed sentiment in a world ravaged by both climate change and the pandemic”.

In addition to this, 2020 was also shaped by the struggle for social justice and the rise in support for movements such as Black Lives Matter. As a result of all this, it is no surprise that consumers, now more than ever, are expecting brands to not only set science-based targets to fight climate change but also to communicate their sustainability commitments with greater empathy.  

Find out more about Earth Day 2021 HERE

Earth Day 2021Source:


So what does this mean for businesses?

According to in this new, more empathetic world, brands need to use effective visuals to convey their sustainability commitments to their customers;

The familiar visual clichés typically used to convey environmental issues — the lone polar bear, smokestacks, a pair of hands cupping a sprout — are too abstract and impersonal”

They advise that whether you are looking to convey to customers the work your business is doing towards your sustainability goals or seeking to create better relationships by helping your customers make more sustainable choices you should keep in mind the following best practices for sustainability stills, videos and illustrations:

  1. Tell the human story Try move away from abstract visuals, metaphors and clichés, instead make your sustainability communications personal, authentic and inclusive of everyone. A good way to do this is to illustrate your business's alignment to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An example of how Origin Green communicates our alignment to the UN SDGs can be seen in our Origin Green Progress Report.
  1. Tell real stories of what individuals, communities and businesses are doing to protect the environment Today’s consumer is very conscious of “greenwashing”, build trust and avoid these damaging perceptions by broadening the scope of your sustainability visuals and tell stories that are unique and authentic to your business.
  1. Humanize sustainable technologies and innovations Show customers how your sustainability technologies fit into people’s everyday lives and also try to continuously build upon your visual language of sustainability, to keep up with both technological and social progress.


Read the full article HERE.