The prevailing winds are blowing towards Sustainability…
The steady stream of Sustainability good news stories continues to flow – 50 nations taking action on plastic consumption, consumer spending on fashion is on a falling trend, and a growing ‘carbon bubble’ means that $1-4 trillion could be wiped off the value of global fossil fuel assets by 2035. As with the recent digital revolution, real change is starting to snowball in the economy. At a time of change there will be winners and losers: huge opportunities and huge risks for those who cling to what they know.
The knack of thriving in such a period of flux is knowing when to let go of the old and when to invest in the new. I always preach that the rules of business still apply. In particular product or service that no-one wants (or can afford) will flop, no matter how Sustainable. The 3 Ps – performance, price & planet – is a good starting point.
But probably the biggest challenge is ‘creative destruction’. Persuading colleagues to ditch unsustainable products/services is never easy. Having serious Sustainability targets is essential – when Interface defined one of the seven targets of their Mission Zero sustainability programme as ‘eliminate problem emissions: eliminate toxic substances from products, vehicles and facilities’, then the days of their products with brominated flame retardants were numbered. Leaving Sustainability to case-by-case decisions will get you nowhere.