In light of climate change and increased natural disasters worldwide, many brands today have become focused on sustainability. They understand that businesses should be more concerned with people over profit, contributing to a viable society as compared to preoccupation with nuts-and-bolts of daily operations and profit. A united workforce is environmentally aware, and insistent on mitigating negative impact on the environment, such as pollution that a factory emits, which compromise quality of life. The time is NOW for action as our planet experiences extremes in heat, fire, and natural disasters. In addition, there is a dire need for reduction of poverty, growth of community, improved infrastructures. When consumers know that a company is doing right, they are apt to remain loyal to them. When employees are listened to and their suggestion valued, commitment naturally increases.
Below are a sampling of companies motivated to purpose and the greater good beyond profit.
*JetBlue…With their motto JetBlue for Good, purpose is lived through programs promoting social responsibility.Youth and Education sponsor non-profits and next generation motivation, JetBlue crew members volunteer and provide community service in the 100+ BlueCities they fly through. JetBlue supports charitable giving, green initiatives, and STEM program grants for study in the sciences as part of JetBlue Foundation.
*Viacom…Is committed to inspire and motivate audiences to take action within their communities in areas of Education/Empowerment, Health/Wellness, the Environment and Social Rights. An example is partnership with Witness; global human rights organization that created The Power of Story campaign which encouraged making videos with cellphones to spotlight pressing social issues like racial stereotypes and gender bias. Through Viacom brands and the power of video, grass roots messages and subsequent change reaches millions.
*GlaxoSmithKline…reinvests 20% of profits in developing countries to build medical structures and train health workers. The company strengthened its commitment to vaccine development, and created the world’s first malaria vaccine.
*GE…a decade ago, GE made a huge bet on clean-tech, Ecomagination. By 2016, GE invested $17 billion in clean tech R & D, and generated $232 billion in revenue from its products. Their investments in their locomotive division will reduce emissions by more than 70%. Digital Wind Farm will boost wind farm energy production more than 20%. GE will be responsible for 1/3 of the world’s electrical capacity, ensuring a future of clean energy.
*Nestle is the world’s leading seller of bottled water. They eliminated slavery and child labor from their supply chains, and made a significant effort to cut fat, sugar, and sodium from its products, while fortifying them with essential minerals and nutrients in low-income countries.
*Nike has increased business while diminishing environmental impact. Most of their footwear is made largely from recycled polyester. For their popular Flyknit shoe, engineers reduced waste by 60% and saved 2 million pounds of fabric scraps.
*UTC Produced a new commercial jet engine called turbofan, which will reduce fuel burn and carbon dioxide emissions by 16%. That translates to $1 million savings on fuel, which will reduce noise for the half million residents who live near airports.
Here’s the buzz, according to Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study 2017:
- 80% of consumers say that when they buy a product from a purpose-driven company, they feel they are taking part in making a positive impact to protect the planet.
- 77% of people say they have stronger emotional ties to brands that are purpose driven.
Purpose Driven Statistics below are largely drawn from Sustainable Brands and Harris poll research. They investigated the shifting perception of what the Good Life means to people and how brands can be part of enabling it.
- 89% of consumers believe PURPOSE is proved by how the company benefits society and environment. Consumers are looking for this. They expect brands to share their impact through all stages of production.
- The good life for many entails: balance & simplicity, meaningful connections, money/status, personal achievement.
- There is a huge opportunity here for brands to provide platforms and channels through which people can live out their social purpose. The younger generations view are conscious of making a difference through what they buy as connected to their values and goals.
- As we become more globally interconnected (thanks largely to the internet), people are becoming aware of the degree to which their buying choices impact others and the world.
- People increasingly want to buy from purpose-driven brands that represent the greater good.
With the combined cooperation of producers and consumers, we are hopeful to see significant improvement in the quality of life around the globe.