As far as buzz words go, ‘sustainability’ is probably right up there on top of the list. We are reminded daily about our impact on the environment, our need to save, reuse and recycle. Eat this, not that. Buy this, not that. And the list goes on and on. So why is it that we see the benefits of doing all this in our personal lives, but when it comes down to implementing similar strategies into business we are far more apprehensive? Simple. It all comes down to profit. And profit = happy shareholders and a healthy bottom line.
If it was left solely up to business, they would only invest in sustainability if it resulted in increased profitability. Sad but true. But luckily these days, more and more corporations are being driven by consumer demands and pressure. Consumers have become much more socially and environmentally aware. Social media and online watchdogs like Avaaz.org and Change.org have made it really difficult for companies to get away with exploiting people, resources and the environment. News of their questionable business practices travel round the world faster than their PR spin doctors can cover it up. Thank you, Internet.
It has therefore become imperative for companies to start implementing meaningful and sustainable marketing principles into their overall business strategies. They need to start embracing green branding, eco-friendly design solutions, and fair trade practices. It’s people and planet first, then profit. The days of only answering to shareholders are quickly coming to a close.
So take another look at your business practices, because you can be assured that your consumers probably know far more about you than you wish they did.