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September 1, 2016

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Sustainability & B2B Brands: Driving Green for Growth

Sustainability means many things to many people. Environmental sustainability, in particular, has definitions that vary across industries, companies, and business segments.

There are, however, a few basic truths that drive all organizations to adopt sustainable practices:

· Driving demand generation through product/service innovation

· Increasing brand equity internally and externally

· Managing cost efficiencies

· Becoming the moral compass for all stakeholders

· Managing risk as it relates to regulation

While one or all of these motivations are common across all organizations, not everyone necessarily knows how to effectively develop, manage, and implement a sustainability strategy that leaves a lasting impact on key stakeholders. B2B organizations, in particular, are at fault.

In the case of B2B, sustainability has been intrinsic to operations where applicable, including in raw materials, packaging, engineering, production, and distribution. As a result, the approach to sustainability has largely been around risk mitigation and cost efficiencies, and the focus has been internal with limited external communication.

While this would have been a perfectly legitimate approach 15 years ago, today there is greater awareness about environmental sustainability, and the general public has an expectation that no matter what kind of business you have, you are responsible for the environmental footprint you leave behind. Sustainability is, in fact, inextricably linked to the brand.