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B2B AND SUSTAINABILITY: WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

September 15, 2016

B2B AND SUSTAINABILITY: WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

Essentially, the crescendo of environmental sustainability has created an even playing field for B2B and B2C. (It is safe to say that sustainability is industry agnostic—just like branding!) However, most B2B organizations are not doing an effective job with galvanizing their employees and other key stakeholders around these practices. Nor are they measuring and communicating the impact of these practices.

When you really think about it, what is flawed about the current B2B approach isn’t that the sustainability practices don’t exist, it is that they appear very self-serving. As a result, critics have labeled this approach a form of greenwashing. (Greenwashing is also attributed to those companies that say they have sustainable practices, although in reality, if you dig deeper, the practices don’t really exist.)

Increased environmental awareness, in addition to the greater degree of transparency afforded by social media, has added fuel to expectations from B2B organizations. As an unfortunate byproduct of this expectation, B2B organizations are retreating from the spotlight rather than publicizing their sustainability practices—a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” response.

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