The perception around sustainability in the business world has changed drastically over time. Some industries embraced it and others rejected it vehemently. Regardless, a massive shift is happening. It’s multi-generational and it’s now just a question of how soon will you realize it.
Our Planet is Being Trashed
Completely devoid of any politicalizing, our planet is being trashed and it’s crushing localized and the global environment. Oceans are incredibly powerful and important to every life on earth even if you live in the middle of the Midwest or a desert and have never seen an ocean. Every year, eight million metric tons of just plastic is dumped into our oceans. How much is that? It’s 17.6 billion pounds. That is every year. By 2050, it’s predicted that ocean plastic will outweigh all of the ocean’s fish. Not only is it sad that all of this plastic is being dumped into the ocean and is crushing life in the ocean, water quality and our food chain, it’s infuriating.
We as a species are incredibly intelligent and capable. We’ve come from living in caves to building this life where incredibly high quality homes can be built in a matter of months, we have microchips that use nanotechnology, we put men and women into space regularly, working towards putting life on the moon and Mars, and we can connect with nearly anyone from any spot on earth in a matter of seconds with crystal clear video. Yet, how in the world have we gotten to the place that we are this advanced and yet we do something as elementary as dumping garbage into the ocean? We actively do this collectively as modern countries and people and plan on just doing it forever and at a higher pace. We are smarter this.
“By 2050, it’s predicted that ocean plastic will outweigh all of the ocean’s fish.”
A Sustainability Shift Is Happening
Despite this sad reality which can cause one to feel hopeless, there is a shift happening that is multi-generational. Through conversations, growing education and self-reflection, a large group of businesses, entrepreneurs and consumers are starting to shift their focus and dollars.
Some of the most impressive minds are coming up with highly desirable products and services while at the heart, being sustainable. A path is being carved that breaks the idea that sustainable products are lesser products or uncool. Semi-trucks that run on waste from whiskey factories, high quality apparel brands that are reducing massive material waste in smarter processes, beauty products that are more effective yet eliminate high polluting artificial ingredients, and resealable aluminum cans as an alternative to plastic bottles. Restaurants are phasing out single use plastic straws. Every industry in some fraction of it is embracing sustainability in their process and it’s starting to connect with a lot of consumers.
Consumers’ mindsets are shifting to seeking out companies that are responsible. Companies like Patagonia design clothes with sustainability in mind from their mission to their process. They create clothes that are supposed to last drastically longer than other apparel makers. They also offer repair services for their apparel to extend their life even more for free. This type of commitment early on has built a cult following and this is setting them up to be an even bigger brand in the future.
Where Can Your Business Do Its Part?
Companies in every sector can embrace sustainability in their products or process and this is a massive competitive advantage that so many business are missing. I challenge you today to self-reflect on your products and services. Where can your business be more sustainable? Think of your competitors. Are they already shifting to embracing sustainability? If so, it’s time to chart a path before the competition is too far ahead. If not, be a leader in your space. Make the shift first. Your conscious and your bottom financial line will thank you later.
Once you commit to being a more sustainable business, it’s then vitally important to educate and champion your mission in your marketing. In the end, you run a business and it needs to be profitable. Sustainability and profitability are not at odds, they are incredibly linked together. It’s a real marketing advantage. Not hype. It’s a genuine part of what makes your products and services desirable. Creatively market your new advantage in all of your company’ s messaging. Let’s put our intelligent minds towards more advancements and stop being so damn wasteful in the process.
Take action and grow your business to be sustainable
If you’re a sustainable focused brand or want to be, reach out and we can offer guidance and a path toward driving incredible growth to your company in this exploding market or let’s connect on LinkedIn.
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