Realism: Sustainability is not a selling point

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Sustainability is not a selling point. 

It’s simply a way of doing business.

In reality, it should be the only way.

This week we will see lots of companies try to leverage COP27 to sell their services. 

Don’t be one of them.

The best way you can engage in COP27 as a business is to avoid this greenwashing.

If you are a more sustainable company, and your employees are actively engaged in the climate conversation because of COP27 this week, take the opportunity to look inwards, explore what else you can do to embed sustainable practices into your business model and supply chains. 

Sustainability can’t exist in silos within your business.

It’s also worth spending time considering what you need to do to prepare for a regulatory landscape where sustainable credentials aren’t just a nice to have, they are business as usual.

Because the more progress governments make, the more sustainability moves from marketing to compliance, and that’s a good thing. 

It means we’re on track to:

  •  End greenwashing – regulators won’t allow false or misleading sustainability claims
  • Close the attitude behaviour gap – consumers won’t have to spend longer seeking out more sustainable options, the unsustainable ones simply won’t be for sale
  • Create an environment where the only companies able to access finance to grow will have ESG embedded in their finance deals – meaning their growth won’t come at a cost to the planet.

True sustainability is about more than just pledging to donate a percentage of your profits, or trying to leverage your credentials to attract clients.

It’s about how you engage in and support the democratic systems in place to ensure that climate progress doesn’t come at a cost to social justice.

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body of water at daytime

It’s about how you support the transition to a regulatory environment that makes sustainability “business as usual” rather than a selling point.

Miles Lockwood, Director of Complaints and Investigations at the ASA, said:

“Big absolute claims require big absolute evidence, and we will not apologise for holding businesses to a high standard for this.”

Transparency and accountability is important. But putting your sustainability front and centre as a selling point encourages and enables greenwashing.

In line with recommendations from the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, here are some practical next steps you can take:

One simple action you can take now, is to subscribe to #EthicalHour. It’s free, it means we can keep you informed on all the crucial issues and updates, and you’ll be the first to hear (and take action!) when our Action Hub goes live!

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