Woolworths, Sun International and more share how they spread sustainability message

The top winners from the SAB sustainability awards share how they reach audiences on their sustainable endeavours

06 October 2023 - 15:53 By Thango Ntwasa
subscribe Just R20 for the first month. Support independent journalism by subscribing to our digital news package.
Subscribe now
Winners of the SAB Beyond Awards receive their trophies.
Winners of the SAB Beyond Awards receive their trophies.
Image: Supplied

In a celebration of commitment to championing sustainability, South African Breweries, in partnership with ESG Africa Events, hosted the inaugural Beyond Awards in Johannesburg. This platform puts the spotlight on African organisations and people who have made a noteworthy impact in sustainability.

The awards recognise organisations and people in four categories — Sustainable Development Goals Champion won by Woolworths, Sustainability Report Of The Year won by Sun International, Sustainability Project Of The Year won by Tweak Carbon and the African Trailblazer won by Dr Jaisheila Rajput, CEO of TOMA-Now.

While it may be easier championing sustainability, getting the word out to people can be difficult. We speak to the winners about how they approached getting their audiences in the know.


“We communicate in a number of ways. We have product level communication on the product. So when you go to a shop it will have sustainability, fishing or farming attributes and so on. We have messaging in store on our walls or screens that communicate to customers at point of sale. If you are on our mailing list you can receive communication on our packaging about water and waste. We also have corporate communications, not only to customers, but to stakeholders as well as other thought leader forums. We have a recurring monthly column in the Sunday Times LifeStyle section which is there to dig deeper into particular topics, whether its fashion, beauty or anything else that might relate.” 


“It's through the old-fashioned way of text messages to our customers, but it's also advertised on our website, app and social media pages. I know a bit about how we do our sales and marketing, but there is a drive from our teams in how we communicate it with our customer base that constantly gets emailed, texted on our promotions as well as those who come in and see what's happening on the floor at that time.”


“We use typical ads and social media. They are working well and you can learn so much through ads. I really did think people would be interested in knowing their carbon footprint, but we realised there needs to be quite an interest and we created rewards for living sustainably. Now we are helping people monetise when they get solar panels from the carbon reduction that is creating. We are also about to launch a leader board to try to push behavioural change through two things we know work well — financial rewards and social pressure.”


“We are not business to consumer, we are business to business. We are also in a knowledge-based industry. For us, it's about creating a multiplier effect. We come up with multiple ideas and we don't believe it should live by itself. We use our social media, website and platforms like these. We have also created case studies for the work we are doing which are freely downloadable on our website so the model and the approach can be applied across.”

subscribe Just R20 for the first month. Support independent journalism by subscribing to our digital news package.
Subscribe now

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.