Two quotes from an article on the UK based Press Gazette caught my attention today (I've bolded bits that are referenced below):
“Sustainability will continue to be one of the biggest trends next year (2022) for brands.”
“Formal non-financial reporting of everything from carbon emissions and choice of suppliers based on their own commitment to sustainability and social impact, to diversity and inclusion throughout the organisation, will be under the microscope. Non-financial reporting will become just as, if not more, important than financial performance reporting. There will be no hiding from this; consumer and client demand will necessitate it.”
What these quotes suggest is that sustainability is going to become a bigger focus for a lot of organisations, possibly along with some more strict reporting requirements. This is great.
What bugs me is that it sounds as though sustainability initiatives are being treated more like marketing opportunities, rather than things we all should just be doing more of.
“Consumer and client demand will necessitate it.”
To me translates to: If we don’t follow suit, consumers won’t buy from us - go get some consultants, let's fix this before next quarter.
Seeing these quotes out of context like this, it’s easy to be critical. Overall, I like what is being discussed in the article, it's a shifting tide, and if a few hands need to be forced to be more transparent through regulations, then ok, that’s what it takes.
What the fist-shaking cranky old man in me would love to see though, is more organisations adopting a low-impact mindset because it’s the right thing to do. Just like treating people fairly is the right thing to do, or providing exceptional customer service is the right thing to do.
It’s kind of amazing that these are still unique differentiators, rather than simply the minimum requirements to play.
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