Creating a brighter future through responsible business
Readers of this blog may or may not be aware that we are currently in the midst of Responsible Business Week: “a high profile opportunity for businesses and organisations of all sorts to demonstrate the many ways that they can work together to turn ambition into positive action for a fairer society and a more sustainable future”.
We’ve written articles before about the core belief of our Social Purpose team: the notion that doing good is good for business, that brands win when they define a purpose beyond profit. To see this being championed across global industry is very encouraging.
But what’s particularly interesting about Responsible Business Week is the focus on translating ambition to action – recognizing that whilst many of us, and indeed many organisations, might have socially and environmentally conscientious whims and ideals, these mean little unless they fall out into genuine change.
We are increasingly seeing this focus on action from brands. For example, adidas have just released their most ambitious sustainability strategy to date with highly specific and measurable aims around six strategic priorities that make most difference to their social and environmental footprint.
Ben and Jerry’s are also doing and not just talking – currently helping people ‘give a fudge’ about democracy in the lead-up to the London mayoral election.
These salient and relevant tactics are totally authentic from brand with such a powerful legacy of political engagement.
Increasingly, it is not enough to state a belief or commit to a position on a social or environmental issue: brands need to show that they care. And this is particularly important for the new generation of consumers – millennials – whose own sustainable behaviours set a high bar for brands: for this group, action is required, not just talk.
Of course, we know this isn’t just a matter for clients: at Flamingo we also work hard to make sure our principles translate into social impact. Cultural connectedness and belonging run through all the work we do, and we translate this to our pro bono projects, be it understanding how to talk to young people about mental health in a way that resonates, or how to use performance art to ease conflict in war-torn communities.
No doubt, there’s always more that all of us can do. But what’s clear is that the time for talking is over – it’s action that is going to create a brighter future with sustainability growing and responsible businesses at its heart.