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         22 July 2022          Danny R.

2 things about sustainability

  1. Sustainable doesn't automatically mean "good".
  2. It also doesn't automatically apply to everything under the brand claiming it

Regarding the good bit

Sustaining means not changing. If the system you're sustaining is good, then sustaining it is also good.

If the system sucks though, then sustaining it does too.

But often how we see the word sustainable being used in marketing is to say "we're doing something good" in that some negative impact has been minimised in some way, which really is good. So let's run with that for now.

Regarding the brand bit

When a brand claims sustainability on its website or packaging, it likely means "we've minimised negative impact somewhere" and will almost always secretly mean "but not everywhere".

That's not intended to be the backhander it looks like. There is not a single business on the planet that can claim to be 100% "good" - that's close to impossible.

We just need to be aware that brands won't always tell us the whole story. Sometimes it's just one supplier, or one product line that's "sustainable".

As business owners, we also need to be aware that consumers and clients are looking for signals from us. If you say you're being sustainable in one area, own the areas where you're not, and make plans to level them up.

That kind of courage (the trendy word for this is transparency 😉) gets rewarded with support, loyalty, word-of-mouth, and fans.

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