People, Planet, Profit
It’s becoming less acceptable to start a business, continue business or buy a product without having any consideration for the people you’re dealing with, who made it, the materials it uses, where it comes from and how it affects the environment. Every company in 2020 should already have or be working towards a triple bottom line approach to their business (people, planet, profit). If profit is the only thing being measured, it’s time for an overhaul.
COVID19 brought the world to a halt and news stories highlighted how employees, customers and suppliers are often treated terribly. Now is a great time to re-examine the way we do business and how we behave as consumers.
Some questions to consider within your own brand or when doing business with anyone:
- Does the company consider and manage its environmental impacts? E.g., Do they track their energy, water and chemical use?
- What are they doing to ensure their product isn’t harming the environment, their employees and their consumers?
- Do they pay fair wages and provide safe working conditions in ALL areas of their business?
- Does the business value their employee’s physical and mental health?
- How does the product or the company benefit society? Do they do anything to give back to the community?
- Does their company culture or compensation invite unethical behaviour?
- Is the goal to solely make a profit, or do they also aim to provide long term value?
- Are they transparent, and do they take accountability for any mistakes?
- Do they value equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion?
- Do they have adequate discrimination and harassment policies? Do they follow them?
Social and environmental impact is everyone’s responsibility, and responsible business is becoming more and more critical. With social media and many celebrities now endorsing and also crucifying brands, the issues that are a result of bad business are becoming increasingly visible.
Commitment to the community and the environment not only contributes to a higher standard of living and a healthier, happier society but provides a platform for companies and their employees to personify their values and spread their message.
All businesses should be striving to do better - all of the time. We should all be making changes that provide a better quality of life, better use of our resources, better pay, better working conditions, better communities, better education, and these changes should have a minimal or positive impact on the environment.
Brands can be a force for good, they can set the benchmark on sustainability, inclusion and diversity and can influence change not only within their own company but also on a massive scale.
What do you want people to be saying about you or your brand?
If you don’t have your own brand...What would you like to see changed?