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by Viya Nsumbu 17th April, 2019
2 min read

5 Responsible Business Trends you can’t afford to ignore

For just thirty seconds I would like you to picture an ethical consumer. Their clothing, their age, their interests, who they hang out with… If you thought of a middle-aged, mung bean eating, tie dye, sandal and sock wearing eco warrior then you are wrong. In 2019, the ethical consumer can (and should) be anyone, so businesses must ask themselves what impact they have on the planet, on people and on customers – and therefore how they can be a responsible business.

 

What is a responsible business?

A responsible business is one that considers environmental,social and governance (ESG) issues in their business models. It is moving away from the idea that a business’ one duty is to generate profit and instead believing that impact matters as much as this.

 

Why should businesses care?

 

  1. Consumers want brands to act: Ethical issues are no longer niche. Long gone are the days of the left-wing activist, and these issues resonate with people in different ways. Ultimately, the causes consumers care about will continue to change and develop, but the consumer needs the overall commitment of the business corporate responsibility to remain.

 

  1. Commercial imperative: Research by EY and Harvard Business Review found that businesses with a purpose beyond profit make more money. Simple.

 

  1. There is no place to hide: – in the information age, businesses can’t hide negative impact anymore. Equally, the age of transparency also means consumers are keen to know what you’re doing to improve what is going on around them. Proposals such as the World Benchmarking Alliance demonstrate the general movement of society.

 

  1. Because government and regulators care: Consumer awareness on issues directs governmental priorities. The plastics debate is a great example of a consumer-driven shift in the way government

 

  1. Your competitors are already doing it: From the enormous growth of the Corp accreditation and Blackrock’s CEO’s letter to investors, to Iceland’s pledge to eliminate plastic packaging for all own brand products within five years, all of the signs are there that competitors care about their impact. So keep up!

 

What does this mean for businesses?

Now therefore there is an opportunity for businesses to be innovative and creative in how they communicate about responsibility and ethical issues. It is increasingly important to not only be part of a wave but to be proactively demonstrating how an organisation is ahead of a trend by demonstrating thought leadership. This way businesses can mitigate against potentially restrictive consumer-driven regulatory and business trends that could be restrictive.

GK Strategy specialises in helping businesses position themselves as thought leaders within their market. Get in touch below to discover how we can help your business.

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