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The future of sustainability is market-facing16th January 2012 by Amanda Long
Reasons to be cheerful? For me it’s the big one - the prospect of positive behaviour change at scale is on the horizon for 2012. Why now? Because the many pressures facing our society such as austerity and resource constraint will continue to intensify throughout this year and bring into ever sharper focus that behaviour change is sustainability in action. So as business increasingly gets that sustainability is not a ‘niche’ discussion about the environment or ethics and is really about people, ie their customers, their needs and the future of society then the prospect for real change is here.
Let’s be clear – the future of sustainability is market-facing, most especially in the ‘new world’ that we are having to transform society into to ensure the survival of our race. By the‘new world’ I am referring to a world which responds to the forces for change facing our society, (such as resource constraint, economic crisis, climate change, population growth etc etc), through real collaboration with customers and partners, efficient resource use and smart design. It is a world where these features are increasingly desirable and aspirational. This puts brands in pole position to drive positive change. In this context, brands that are first to market with a genuine ‘sustainability’ offer at core, will be the winners. Loyalty and strong relationships with customers will follow. In this age of austerity and resource constraint – ‘value’ becomes more important to customers than ever and the nature of ‘value’ is changing. From the perspective of the customer, there are two big questions which will increasingly be asked of companies:
- how does your product or service improve my life (add value to it)?
- what are you doing to help me act on the things that matter to me in my life?
People want companies to make life easy for them. They also want companies to help them make the right decisions. In reality they want companies to put it together for them. The future of sustainable business is market-facing – short, medium and long-term. Sustainability placed at the core of the business is a real game-changer and should be part of a new agenda for growth.
By Amanda Long, CEO Corporate Culture