3 Things Responsible Brands Have in Common

Today there is a significant drive for businesses to be more responsible. There have been a wave of recent climate change protests across Europe, for example, inspired by such activists as the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. In solidarity with these European protests, a new generation of climate activistshave also arisen in the US. Led by teenagers such as 16 year old, Isra Hirsi the US Youth Climate Strike demands urgent action from policy-makers to address the crisis. These events are putting the spotlight on brands and how they manufacture and deliver products to customers. 

But it isn’t just climate change that is important. Treatment of staff, animals and other aspects need to be considered by brands. Those that are responsible stand to benefit significantly. Research has shown that 81% of customers are more likely to purchase from responsible brands, even if the price is higher.

There is also the risk of financial penalties imposed by the government. As climate change and other issues become more prominent, governments are more likely to look at ways it can persuade businesses to be more responsible in their operations.

So, what makes a brand responsible? Here are three things that all responsible brands have in common.

1. Reduction in carbon footprint

In 2018, UK carbon emissions fell by 3% from their 2017 levels. The 2017 levels were their lowest since 1890, which is a 12% reduction between 2012 and 2017. The more companies that reduce their carbon footprint, the less impact our consumption of products and services is having on the environment. There are certain technologies that are helping here, including digital services and the move to renewable energy sources that now make about a third of all energy generation in the UK.

As the demand for more energy efficient production of products and services continues. It is likely that companies will find new ways to offset their carbon footprint. This goes well beyond planting trees for every one used or for every tonne of pollution used up. Companies are now looking at reducing packaging and improving logistics so they are more environmentally economic.

2. Using more sustainable materials

Certain materials are known to not be sustainable and to have a significant impact on the environment in their harvesting and production. Many brands are looking at switching to better materials that can be used more responsibly. For instance, 34% of all fibres used by ASOS in their products come from sustainable sources.

Sustainable materials don’t just help the environment, they can help fund employment opportunities across the world to help poorer communities. This can prevent certain poor communities from taking up employment in industries that can damage their local environment.

3. Improving working conditions for all staff

There are many industries in the world that have poor reputations when it comes to working conditions for workers. In some areas of the world, work is little more than modern slavery. According to those working to combat modern slavery, there are approximately 25 million people who can be considered slaves in the world.

While some of these modern slaves are paid, others are not, or are paying off debt which they owe to an ‘employer’. Slavery exists in many industries including agriculture, construction, hospitality and fashion. That is why companies need to be proactive in protecting those in their supply chains from modern slavery.

Conclusion

There are three things that all modern, responsible businesses have in common. So, if you’re looking to change your shopping habits to be more responsible, look for the brands that are being socially responsible to the environment and the workforce.

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