Ethical Behaviour or Greenwashing?

To quote from an article in HBR, written by Ryan Quinn, Bret Crane, Travis Thompson and Robert E. Quinn: “Leadership is fundamentally about unleashing potential: both your own and that of the people who follow you”.

With this in mind, there is a  key development that many companies are not aware of: the requirement that marketing & communication is made accessible to all stakeholders, including those with a disability. Unleashing potential starts with communication that drives progress in people and processes.

Accessibility of products, services and information will be enforced by law soon. We have written and spoken on this topic frequently.

Interestingly, we have noticed that there are companies in all sectors that consider this a soft and kind gesture they are happy to support in theory. We acknowledge that is a start! But if companies believe it may not be applicable to their business, then that start doesn’t hold much promise. Added to this, if the EU legislation is there but the national supervisory bodies have not been established in all member states, these companies feel there is no reason to act (yet).

To these companies we would like to suggest reframing this issue from a challenge to an opportunity. Break the frame of ‘compliance’ and ask yourself different questions. Here are a few:

  • How can we take our communication from good to great?
  • What would ensure that people use the information we share for better decision making and active engagement?
  • How can we add value to our ESG agenda and be a better employer and business partner?

The answer lies in making your communication accessible to all.

Ensuring people who are blind or suffer poor eyesight, or those who are deaf or neuro- diverse can follow all your communication, will bring measurable benefits. Being ethically motivated to do the right thing does mean that your internal communication must be equally accessible as your communication to external parties. Otherwise there is a risk of reputational damage for what may be perceived as Greenwashing.

As always you are welcome to contact us for the best course of action for your organisation.

JPC Accessibility Team