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Being a sustainable brand: Good for the environment, great for business.

With a growing sustainability-conscious consumer base, modern business owners continue to be challenged by the demand of greener products and brands with a pro-environment outlook. And rightfully so: economically and socially, we face mounting pressure in the face of climate change, energy shortages, liveable wages, ethical consumption… the list goes on, and overwhelms quickly.

It seems so easy to ignore the necessity of sustainable practice, as either immeasurable for stakeholders or too difficult to implement, when in reality the inspiration to do so is both fiscally and culturally available. Simply put, showing consumers your commitment to sustainability has been proven to increase brand value and offer an incentive to your soon-to-be customers when comparing you to other competitors.

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Increasing brand value

The definition of brand value is, in essence, the total viewed worth of the business. Value is impacted by visibility, loyalty and - sometimes most importantly - association. We see major brands make association decisions every day that enhance reputation, position a product, or defer focus from less customer-aligned elements of the brand.

For example, Nike’s decision to feature controversial sports star Colin Kaepernick in their advertisements was considered a bold but intriguing move. Despite a social media led war cry promising to boycott the brand, Nike saw a value increase of $26.2 billion: a testament to the impact of association, and the appeal of a brand choosing to take a stance and show their values.

Impact beyond morals

Associating your brand with sustainability and a proactive environmental stance has been seen to improve brand value, even when the “eco” element of the brand is not actively taken up.

For example, Honda’s choice to move ahead of the curve and offer an eco-friendly alternative to the fuel guzzling competitor standards saw them as the only car manufacturer in the US to report better sales in June 2008 when compared to June 2007.

According to a recent Neilsen report, coffee that reflects a sustainability message in their advertising enjoyed a better shelf placement in supermarkets, thanks to higher demand - 12% market growth, to be exact.

The Nielsen report continues, "Brands that are able to strategically connect (sustainability) to actual behaviour are in a good place to capitalize on increased consumer expectation and demand." Most importantly, the report adds, that "Sustainability claims on packaging must also reflect how a company operates inside and out."

Further FMCG areas that saw growth thanks to sustainability demands include chocolate and bath products. None alike, but all recognising the impact a sustainable ethos has to the bottom line. Sustainability as a corporate initiative continues to grow in importance, with more than 90% of CEOs saying that sustainability is fundamental for success.

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Introducing the next step

Embracing a sustainable initiative doesn’t demand an overnight revamp of your entire process. Implementation can begin with practice that makes sense to the cultural officer, as well as the financial controller.

Multi-award winning Australian brewery KAIJU! Beer turned to solar as a reflection of their brand values and their concern about the impact their Dandenong brewery had on the environment. The acquisition of $21,000 worth of government rebates also meant for a high user like them, the installation of a 40kW system resulted in savings from day one.

Enthusiastic, confident and inclusive, their investment in solar helps position the brand as an independent with values that align to the growing demand for sustainable products. This also set the groundwork for KAIJU! Beer to continue to grow with their operations strongly aligned with their brand ethos.

Replas, Australia’s leading recycled plastic manufacturer, sought out a solar opportunity to take their sustainable practice to the next level. With a fundamentally eco-friendly offering, the introduction of a clean energy solution meant furthering consumer confidence. Customers turn to Replas to provide them with over 200 recycled plastic products, which are now produced with the assistance of a sustainable energy source, rounding out that commitment through the entire manufacturing process. Replas will now also save $2.5 million dollars over the next 25 years across their two sites, and avoid generating the greenhouse gas equivalent of 40.7 vehicles per year.

Your power to change the world

If you’re ready to introduce an environmentally and economically positive solar solution to your business, reach out today and organise your complimentary solar feasibility assessment with Australia and New Zealand’s trusted solar provider.

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