We talked about ethical brands in our last blog and why more people are buying into them these days.
Now we’re going to look at sustainability and how it’s driving customer behaviour, particularly since the start of the pandemic.
Essentially, a greater sense of social responsibility and environmental awareness means people want to invest in brands echoing their values.
This means a quality product no longer wins customers and their loyalty. We want more.
So you need to be asking: “Is my business sustainable as well as ethical?”
And we need to work out ways to make our products and services ‘greener’ and to show accountability for our actions.
But what do we mean by sustainable?
To answer this question we turned to our friends at Deloitte UK. They carried out a survey last year which threw up some interesting findings.
- The five sustainable brand practices that consumers value most include:
- Waste reduction,
- Reducing carbon footprint
- Providing sustainable packaging
- Committing to ethical work practices
- Respecting human rights
- There is a 50/50 split between those willing to pay more or not for environmental and ethical brands
Surely, it won’t be long before that even split becomes more like 60/40. So this is the year to start your journey towards becoming a sustainable business.
Think about one thing you can do right now and make a commitment to your customers to do more.
But don’t make bold promises that you can’t keep and avoid the ‘greenwash’ that is creeping into business. Keep it real, keep it honest.
What is greenwashing?
This is where a company shouts about their green credentials but does little in reality to look after the planet. This isn’t just unethical, it’s now illegal.
The UK’s Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) issued a new Green Claims Code at the start of this year to stop businesses from misleading their customers. It’s definitely worth reading.
Another thing to think about is making your business carbon-positive, not just carbon-neutral. The narrative has changed – it’s not just about planting a tree to offset travel any more.
Here are some questions to get you started:
- Are your materials sourced sustainably from ethical companies that pay liveable wages and treat people fairly?
- Do you source locally to cut down transport costs and to support the local community?
- Have you measured your carbon footprint?
- Can you do more e-commerce – is your business set up to trade online?
- How about working remotely – do you need that expensive office space?
We can help you to become a more sustainable business. It might be with digital marketing, your social media or setting up your online shopping.
Let us know if you want a chat and we can take it from there.