SB Brand-Led Culture Change 2024 - Last chance to save, final discount ends April 28th!

Writers' Guide


Once you've reviewed these guidelines and are confident your idea is a good fit for SB, feel free to submit a proposal.

Who reads SB?

As a B2B sustainability resource, Sustainable Brands' content is aimed more toward professionals seeking insights into how to maximize their efforts in the business world, rather than consumers looking for tips on sustainable living. Our core audience of sustainable business innovators trend toward mid- to high-level managers or decision-makers who are looking for new ways to build business and brand value by pairing reduced environmental and social impact with positive economic results — ideas and strategies that go above and beyond compliance and what their peers might already be doing.

Our readers generally possess more than a basic understanding of the opportunity in "doing well by doing good." They already "get it" and now want smart, strategic thinking; novel, innovative ideas; and tested approaches with demonstrated success metrics, when possible.

Important tips

    • Content must be:
      • non-promotional in nature. No sales pitches!
      • exclusive to Sustainable Brands. We will not accept previously posted content.
      • appropriate for a business audience — i.e. no 'sustainable living tips' or similar content more geared toward consumers.
    • Use of terms such as "green," "eco-friendly," "sustainable" (without the appropriate/correct context), "saving the planet," "doing well by doing good" and other similarly overused buzzwords and phrases is highly discouraged and could result on us passing on your article (you can do better than that!).
    • Please make sure we either haven't already covered your topic or that it is in fact newsworthy in the context of what we have covered.

    What we're looking for

    At Sustainable Brands, our goal is to highlight the incredible work companies in all industries are doing to disrupt the old, linear approach to business and embrace new ways of profiting with transformative "big picture" strategies, initiatives, partnerships, products, services and business models — and the implications this momentum has for business and brands. The SB editorial platform serves as a resource for companies and professionals looking to learn more and assess how and where they can have the most impact in their own operations, and for those leading the way to share their successes and failures for others to learn from.

    To that end, we feature and seek original content that examines how companies around the world are, for example:

    • Walking their talk year-round — integrating sustainability and purpose into the fabric of their business all year long — not just on Earth DayWorld Water DayClimate Week, etc.

    • Creating solutions — our community is well-versed on the issues (the "what") and the need to solve them (the "why"). Show us the "how" — the products, services, initiatives and business models that are creating change now.

    • Creating a new "business as usual" — a few examples: more and more companies are disrupting the linear, take-make-waste approach to business by adopting holistic, circular strategies that include designing products for recycling, reuse or disassembly; shifting from product-based to service-based business models; establishing take-back programs for products at end of life; and utilizing more beneficial, easily recyclable or previously wasted materials.

    • Broadening the conversation, leveling the playing field and ending injustices — Part of our mission to help deliver a flourishing future for all is to make sure racial and social equity become embedded parts of the sustainability conversation. To that end, we are actively seeking stories from LGBTQ and POC writers — as well as leads on LGBTQ and POC entrepreneurs, creatives, innovators and businesses; and companies using their influence to include and increase equity and opportunity for these communities — to expand our representation of these traditionally marginalized groups, and help promote the critical work taking place to help bring about a fair, just and overall better future for all.

    • Going beyond "doing less bad"— while reducing impacts is still an immediate concern and a necessary step, we’re looking to highlight those working beyond net-zero waste and emissions, to net-positive and/or regenerative impacts in terms of energy, materials and resources; creating tangible benefits and shared value for all stakeholders.

    • Building business value by authentically embedding purpose into their brand offering — feel-good social-benefit campaigns and philanthropic activities are all well and good ... but we want to highlight initiatives that help companies build brand and business value while they're giving back. Ex: supporting smallholder farmers in a developing country that is part of a company's supply chain vs. one-off charitable giving activities to communities in a developing country.

    • Correlating sustainability with business value — we want to hear from and about companies that understand that the long-term health of their business is inextricably linked to the long-term health of the planet and those who inhabit it, and are creating KPIs and success metrics that reflect this.

    • Making good on their commitments — If we had a nickel for every time a company issued a set of "bold 2030 goals" ... The continued momentum around companies' efforts to improve is incredible and we wholeheartedly commend the hundreds around the world rising to the challenge! But what is of greater use and interest to us and our community are reports on next-generation sustainability goals (ex: science-based targets, climate-positive commitments) and progress toward those goals, along with what is and isn't working, benefits generated from the improvements (financial and otherwise), and how they continue to set the bar higher with each success.

    • Sharing the bad, along with the good — examining failures and barriers, as well as successes, is vital for continued progress. We value those willing to share specific case studies, and encourage you to remember that while companies rarely share them, failures are just as valuable as successes!

    • Changing "sustainability" from a department to a common thread through all departments — holistically approaching sustainability by integrating sustainability and finance, tying executive compensation to sustainability goals, incorporating relevant KPIs into all areas of the business, and aligning the ethos behind these goals with the overall mission of the business.

    • Forging pre-competitive partnerships — through which companies combine their creative, strategic, scientific and financial resources to solve the complex, systemic challenges inherent to global businesses; and together create real, on-the-ground changes in the farthest reaches of their value chains. Among a growing number of examples:

    • Engaging customers and other stakeholders — from creatively communicating their sustainability efforts, to acknowledging their shortcomings, to enlisting customers’ help in making critical changes, forward-thinking organizations are winning brand loyalty by changing the way they interact with their customers — whether to illustrate their own purpose strategies or to nudge their customers to live and act more purposefully.

    Other suggestions

      • Think Sustainability 2.0. Emphasize "innovation" and "opportunity" over "responsibility" or "compliance" (Ex: If your building is LEED-certified, let us know when it meets LBC or Cradle to Cradle standards!).
      • Think "big picture." Focus on insights, initiatives and case studies that will offer beneficial information for a broad range of companies or industries (Ex: Ellen MacArthur, H&M, Nike Challenge Take-Make-Dispose Model with Circular Fibres Initiative).
      • Share metrics. Quantifying the impact and ROI of sustainability initiatives is of particular interest and value to our community (Ex: Natural Capital Impact Group Develops Single Biodiversity Metric to Help Companies Reduce Impacts).
      • Reference current trends. Start by perusing SB's editorial channels for a look at what topics we've published on in recent months. You may find inspiration from the industry surveys, company news, interviews with business leaders, and past contributions from SB writers. Any references to previous SB coverage should be hyperlinked within your text.
      • Frame your article in a way that will inform, interest or appeal to a large subset of the SB community (see 'Who reads SB?') by presenting strategies and takeaways that could benefit organizations in a variety of industries. Instead of a self-promotional pitch about how great your company's latest program is, try and present the topic as insights and benefits that your company has gained as a result of the program.


        • The target article length is ~700-1200 words, with a single space between sentences.
        • All desired references and hyperlinks must be embedded in the document (not footnoted) prior to submission.
        • Word and Google docs preferable to PDFs.

        Once you've reviewed these guidelines and are confident your idea is a good fit for SB, feel free to submit a proposal (PLEASE NOTE that inquiries from general content writers, sites just looking for link-backs, and proposals not relevant to our audience will not receive a response).