I recently had the once in a lifetime experience of seeing David Attenborough in Melbourne and hearing him the has left me feeling touched, moved and inspired and wondering what role brands can play in protecting the natural world for generations to come.
David Attenborough has fulfilled the role of educating us about the importance of the natural world and how we need it for our very existence, he has made it clear that his role is education and it’s up to us to take action. While, he mentioned we need to vote for governments that have this on their agenda it left me feeling that collectively there has to be something we can do as consumers and brand owners.
One of the hardest things for consumers is figuring out where to start when determining if a business is committed to operating in a sustainable way and committed to operating in a way which leaves the world in a better place. How do you really know that a brand is doing the right thing? Can you trust what they say? It often requires quite a lot of researching digging to find out if a business operates with the values you want to support..
If you’re a business how do you do good by the planet and still make a profit?
Here’s where a certification such as Bcorp can do a lot to demystify selecting and becoming a brand that is committed to operating in a way which leaves the world in a better place.
I’ve started noticing Bcorp certifications popping up and after looking into this further I can see how this can be a very powerful framework for brands who are seeking to operate in a purpose-driven way. Certified B Corporations are social enterprises verified by B Lab, a nonprofit organisation. B Lab certifies companies based on how they create value for non-shareholding stakeholders, such as their employees, the local community, and the environment.
Most importantly, Bcorp focuses acknowledging and building a great business that can profitably deliver a great product or service that a target customer will choose over existing competition. It provides a certification and framework for us to be able to select brands with this certification, giving us confidence that they ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to using their business as a force for good.
“The B Corp movement is one of the most important of our lifetime, built on the simple fact that business impacts and serves more than just shareholders—it has an equal responsibility to the community and to the planet.” – Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia
The Bcorp certification redefines what it means to be a successful brand – B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems.
The trend towards consumers selecting brands based on their contribution to society and the planet is only going to increase and brands who have an accreditation like Bcorp are going to be in a great position to differentiate themselves and stand out and add credibility to their purpose-driven claims.
As consumers we have immense power with our purchasing decisions, we can choose to support brands and products that are purpose-driven. We can seek out brands that align with our values, our beliefs and that connect with us on an emotional level.
Business and brands
Many of you who are business owners and entrepreneurs have a direct impact on the way your business impacts the world. So why not create a business that is purpose-driven and makes the world a better place for all stakeholders?
If this is something that aligns with your objectives, this philosophy should live at the heart of your brand. What do you believe in? What do you campaign for and crusade against? What is important to you? What legacy do you want to leave? What are you passionate about? How will your behaviour reflect your values?
By creating a compelling and powerful brand proposition that addresses these areas it is easier for everyone in your organisation to live this as part of their everyday operations. Your beliefs and values should play out at all of your touchpoints.
We also recommend developing a brand charter or manifesto, something that illustrates your believes and values as an organisation. This can the be communicated to the whole team and can become a mantra.
As consumers and as brands we can ask ourselves……..What do we believe in? What do we campaign for and crusade against? What is important to us? What legacy do we want to leave? What are we passionate about? Then we need to make decisions based on these values.
The bottom line is business do and will have a great role in solving some of societies biggest challenges. The natural world and the work David Attenborough has brought to us is just the beginning it is up to us to ensure we leave the world in a state that future generations can enjoy. Consumers and business owners both have the power to influence change.
Director of Brand Projects
Pics: From BBC and BCorp and The Telegraph