Today is the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Its celebration comes with the hopes of tens of millions of people that this is the moment in history where equilibrium between sustainability and economic growth is realized. According to the experts, to do that, everyone – including brands – have to commit to a low carbon future.
For brands, simply playing the environmental awareness card as part of a CSR or PR campaign isn’t an actual option anymore. Brands have to do it in ways that meaningfully support a sustainable future that is palpable to the consumer. And as the number of companies trying to co-opt environmental issues for their brands has grown, so too have the number of skeptical consumers. Most consumers have heard such promises before and – in the face of increased expectations – have begun to demand authenticity. They understand that the technology exists, and more and more consumers feel that all brands need is the will to make it so. To borrow a phrase from the Wizard of Oz, consumers want brands to be “morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably” green.
- Air Canada
- Burt’s Bees
- Discover Card
- Le Pain Quotidian
- New Balance
- Tom’s of Maine
- Under Armour
- Whole Foods
- Wyndham Hotels
This year could be the year in which world leaders finally pass a binding climate change treaty and citizens and corporations divest from fossil fuels and both politicians and consumers put sustainability and renewable energy solutions where their mouths are. It turns out that consumers are fiercely loyal to brands that do that.
If you want to put your own principles and environmental standards to the test, Earth Day Network has a Personal Footprint Calculator, so you can see the impact you’re having on our planet. Just click here and take the test: http://www.earthday.org/footprint-calculator
For what it’s worth, when it comes down to the bottom bottom-line, unlike many things in our lives, it’s exactly what environmentalist Wendell Berry said, “The earth is what we all have in common.”