sustainability is about much more than the environment
I recently read this great post over at RoundPeg and it got me thinking about how consumers understand and interact with brand sustainability. According to a global survey in 2014, 55% of global online consumers across 60 countries are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. As a consumer, our first thoughts on sustainability tend to consider these impacts as physical manifestations – reducing emissions, recycling, donating or contributing to non-profits. This view tends to create a loophole for businesses where it’s possible to disguise ignominious internal processes behind the visible positive social impact – that is how do we know if these businesses actually practice what they preach.
For us, sustainability is about much more than making sure our business practices are considerate of our physical environment – it’s really about how we engage and interact with our team (and clients) to ensure that our actions and behaviours truly reflect our core values. I believe it’s the internal process and management of people that dictate and truly reflect a brands sustainability – if we aren’t actively trying to change the lives of the people closest to us, how can we possibly have an impact on the wider community? Only recently have we started to see organisations recognising the role of looking after their people in pursuit of profits, and it’s refreshing to see independent certifications such as BCorp build in work environment factors to measures of sustainability – and I hope to see this current trend become a norm within larger commercial organisations.
What are your thoughts – drop me a line at trudi[at]faculte3.com.au – I’d be interested to hear your your own workplace experiences and successful (or unsuccessful) strategies you might have seen with brands and sustainability of the front (and back) lines.