Yesterday I wrote about the A.T. Kearney report that discussed their findings that the market rewarded “companies who show a ‘true’ commitment to sustainability.” What is a ‘true’ commitment to sustainability and what does that look like?
Let me start with a true story about a ‘fake’ commitment.
I was recently introduced to an executive for a ‘green’ online website. I was excited to meet her based on her business card and initial ‘image’. I visited their website before our meeting and could immediately smell a fake.
Visiting their website I could instantly tell they didn’t get it. While it was an aesthetically pleasing site with the appearance of some good branding, it was clear they didn’t get sustainability and I predicted failure.
- They were promoting consumerism
- Their online articles were fluff
- There was no information about who they were, where they were located or an easy way to contact them
- There was nothing about their story
- Nothing about their commitments or goals to social justice or sustainability
- There was nothing there to make me care
I met with the executive and shared my thoughts in a polite manner. I sent her a mini report after our meeting and here is part of her email response:
“I Know, I know, we aren't transparent and all the other stuff you mentioned...but in this economy it is all about making money.”I stand by my prediction.
While a company like this may temporarily grow, it won't be sustained as savvy consumers really figure out the motivations, and how sustainable is that? A failing company takes lots of people down with it including vendors, employees and investors.
More to come tomorrow.