In the business world, “Sustainability” started out as Lunatic Fringe talk, then moved up to window-dressing for Corporate Responsibility sections of Annual Reports and subsequently got a new and sometimes tawdry life as a Green Marketing opportunity. Now, setting a company’s sustainability agenda is one of the most important and valuable things that its executives must do. And people at all levels can find great innovation ideas in sustainability.
I attended the Sustainable Brands conference in 2007 and it was a hive of excitement over the power of Green Marketing and adulation of cool campaigns and programs. Just two years later, the same conference was astoundingly different: It had become clear that both the issues and opportunities are much more fundamental and addressing them is no longer a matter of choice, it is an imperative. Energy and water will be scarce and more expensive for everyone. In addition, a combination of consumer awareness and regulatory expansion are making transparency – a lot of reporting of your sustainability practices – mandatory. You can deal with these as burdens or you can try to find ways to create advantages for your company. In addition to creating new obligations, these and related challenges are creating major opportunities for growth and effectiveness.
What to do? Read More →