Green Economy and Brand Activism: a real commitment5 min read

Is it possible to make a profit by pursuing sustainable policies? It certainly is. The Green Economy is not just a marketing trend; it is a real and active commitment that companies are putting on their agenda in tandem with various national governments.

While production and energy supply systems were already being questioned at the beginning of the last century, it is only in the last 15 years that the idea of doing something practical at company level has been seriously considered.
With the third industrial revolution underway and the planet in a critical situation, countries and companies have chosen to adapt their production methods, supply chains and sales policies.
This has led many famous brands from a wide range of sectors to become active ambassadors of the Green Economy ideals they wish to defend.

The dictates of the Green Economy

Producing, creating services and making profits from a green perspective is not just a matter of recycling paper; certainly starting with an involvement in waste policies is a good move, but the mechanisms to be implemented are more, and certainly more complex.

In the first instance we can certainly see the commitment to environmental protection, and all the related policies ranging from observing a paper-free policy as much as possible, to the use of furnishings and equipment derived from circular economies, to the application of practices among employees such as car-pooling and the use of alternative means of transport.
If the company itself relies on renewable energy sources, managing to increase efficiency while reducing emissions and pollution, the results will be even more appreciable. This is in line with the United Nations’ agenda, to which the EU is a signatory, to reduce emissions by 2030.

But we are not just talking about environmental responsibility; a major factor in the sustainable process is also social responsibility.
An inclusive working environment, where hiring is encouraged with an integrated approach that takes into account all employees and their needs, creates the best conditions for its employees; a well-being that also has a clearly positive reflection in productivity and customer relations.

Over time, the combination of these practices has increased the awareness of employees, customers and managers of environmental and social issues, but also of the positive effects of implementing them.

Trend growth

Naturally, conscience breeds conscience.
Thanks both to influencer marketing and to the public works (whether investments or operations) of various companies (but also of governments), more and more companies, whether large or small, are gaining awareness, including the values of the green economy in their corporate mission.

All this generates a circular mechanism, as companies influence each other both to stay on trend and to meet the expectations of users and customers; the operation of embodying the ideal takes place through investments (both private and public), green marketing and, above all, using the support of various influencers, especially those outside the company itself and more in touch with the current generation and their means of communication (social, but also offline).

The biggest change however, leading to both a complete transition and a new paradigm of establishment, is a complete policy reform; a difficult mechanism for many, but increasingly assisted in its processes and implementation.

Sustainability diagram: not only Green Economy
Sustainability diagram: not only Green Economy

From Brand Purpose to Brand Activism

Let’s now talk about marketing, and therefore how companies make their voices heard.
Moving from willingness to action is the first change that customers nowadays demand from the company; this is because the customer’s attention is increasingly moving from the “product itself” to the value system that not only the product, but the entire brand carries forward. At the level of marketing operations and operations this has marked a considerable change.

As marketing guru and authority Philip Kotler reminds us, people are only 5% rational in their decision-making processes; this implies that a large proportion of mental processes are governed by the emotional sphere.
This therefore pushes companies to communicate in a powerful and effective way the value of the brand, which consists of a summary of the results that a possible purchase can bring to the user in intangible terms; improvement of the quality of life, well-being, sharing of responsibility and social involvement.

The old marketing that venerated the ‘quality‘ of the product and its benefits must therefore be reviewed and renewed; what is being sold today is the story of the product and the person selling it, and the value system that the brand embodies. From this point of view, a sort of ‘item paradox‘ is reached: the desired item itself moves almost into third place on the scale of interest of the user looking for it, moving into a sort of ‘grey zone’ waiting for the perfect match between customer and company.

But how is BA carried out in practice?

There are several actions that a company can decide to undertake; to resume the differentiation theorized again by Kotler, we can divide them into six main sectors:

  • social
  • corporate
  • political
  • environmental
  • economical
  • legal

In each of these areas, the company not only stands up for certain values, but is also on the front line with physical representatives, investments and targeted initiatives.

Talking about the environmental field, for example, some companies (including ProduceShop) have decided to invest in Treedom, a service which, in return for a financial contribution, plants fruit trees in some economically disadvantaged countries, giving local families who look after them the opportunity to work and live off the proceeds.

In the social field, there are many initiatives linked to human rights, especially in the field of discrimination; this is usually linked to corporate activism, changing some practices, if not the entire governance, to adapt to the new mission.

In conclusion

Embracing an idea can often be a risk for a company; if the trend in question is still hot, the risk of getting caught up in negative hype could be just around the corner.

But as customers today increasingly demand a demonstration of value from brands, those who truly identify with a positive ideal will have no difficulty in applying the correct policies for good Brand Activism; in terms of investment, the results over time are positive and obvious.

Sources:
  • Corporate PR
  • HR Dept. ProduceShop
  • Marketing Dept. ProduceShop (https://mbkfincom.com)
  • Repubblica
  • UnEp.com
  • Digital 4Biz
  • IG.com
  • ActivistBrands
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