Don’t Just Talk Green, Walk Green

While doing research for this blog, I recently came across the Sustainable Brands conference, which I hope to attend sometime. The Sustainable Brands conference allows people from various industries to meet and share their ideas about sustainable brand messaging and living up to the messaging.

A theme seemed to be that truly understanding sustainability allows organizations to implement sustainable initiatives internally and externally in the company. These initiatives show the company’s commitment to sustainability rather than just talking about it. Raphael Bemporad, principle at BBMG, led one of the sessions of the 2012 conference. I found the video of the presentation on YouYube, and it was such an insightful presentation that I wanted to share.

In the presentation, Bemporad discusses disrupt and delight, where he outlines five principles of sustainable brand innovation and communication which I have briefly outlined below:

  • Start with what’s sacred; a community that holds the same things as sacred will work together better.

i.            Chipotle and its responsible food sourcing practices

  • Design holistically; the good of the element is the good of the whole.

i.            Levi’s and its Water<Less denim design

  • Create collaboratively; consumers and employees can act as co-creators.

i.            Unilever’s Needs and Wants online, notifies consumers of research and development issues that need solutions

  • Play breeds creativity; it allows us to see our work with fresh eyes.

i.            “People who play video games actively are more creative…” Michigan State University study

  • How to connect and spread delight; being more creative and delightful with your consumers will encourage change in them.

i.            Warby Parker Eyeglasses; social enterprise to sell product 1:1 business model

These principles remind companies to integrate sustainability into every level of business. This total integration makes talking about the sustainable initiatives much easier for employees, because people better retain information through actual practice rather than memorization.

When it comes to sustainable messaging the time old saying, “Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk,” holds true. If a company wants to join in the sustainability conversation, it should consider business from the ground up, and decide if it can be doing anything smarter, cleaner, more inclusively and more intuitively.

Sustainability is a lifestyle; its integration into a company’s environment will encourage behavioral change within its employees.After this has been done, the sustainable messaging will coalesce organically and a company will have a new story which will warrant sharing.


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