I’m feeling very inspired after attending the Sustainable Brands conference last week. Here’s what I learned in a nutshell:
Employees overwhelmingly want to work for companies with purpose. They care most about doing meaningful work and having a higher quality of life. Clif Bar’s CEO gave an inspirational talk about “activating purpose and harnessing the energy of your employees.” Read more here:
Experts agree that private sector businesses are as responsible for solving the world’s sustainability issues as are national governments. Corporate leadership must define their sustainability strategy and integrate this purpose throughout their organizations.
Marketing should embrace sustainability and infuse it into brands and product storytelling. Successful storytelling needs to focus on human and social impact and not be too technical.
You can find solutions to complex business problems by studying how nature has solved it. Nature is the first successful sustainable system, and we should learn from it. Read more about the concept of Biomimicry here:
Consumers prefer to buy from brands with purpose, and they trust these brands more than others. Additionally, transparency is the key, and “almost unilaterally leads to success.” Read more:
10 brands have signed up to have a Net Positive effect, meaning not only will the total impact of their supply chain not harm the earth and humanity, but it will actually lead to a positive effect on earth and humanity. Brands such as Target, AT&T and HP have taken this brave step. Read more about the Net Positive Project here:
15 brands built on sustainability platform have reached billion dollar revenue status, proving that sustainability has more than a positive ROI. No surprise that the list includes Whole Foods, IKEA, Nike but I was a bit surprised about Toyota and Chipotle, and newer brands like Tesla. Read more:
Lastly, I realized that brands don’t have to be scared to start a path to sustainability. Even if your company has a ways to go as far as supply chain impact or employee engagement, it’s about setting goals, then setting more goals once those are achieved. It’s about communicating what you have been able to achieve to attract more consumers and to retain top talent. The sooner a company realizes this, the sooner they will be on a path to longterm success.
I’m definitely looking forward to attending next year in Detroit!