Earth Day: a worthy bandwagon?

As an occasional imbiber of fine wines and craft beers, I’ve noticed a big emphasis in the past few years on “sustainable” farming and all things organic. And, then there’s a few companies out there that make sustainability and saving the planet core to who they are and what they do: consider Patagonia, Seventh Generation or The Body Shop as cases in point.

And, then when Earth Day rolls around, there are a ton of posts, tweets, and claps on the back as firm’s promote their commitment to our planet. But most of it smacks as


really inauthentic. When we asked consumer-facing executives in our recent survey about what drives executive and board decisions, 12% of respondents highlighted “environmental issues” and 15% selected “corporate social responsibility”.

But, really, regardless of how important the environment ranks, the key question for me is what drives the business. And, how well aligned are executives and employees behind that driver. If you were to ask employees and customers of Patagonia or  The Body Shop, a significant majority would probably say that environmental issues are one of the major concerns for the business.

What would they say about your company? And, how consistent would they be? Establishing customer expectations and enabling employees to exceed them require a clear sense of direction and alignment. Alternatively, we can jump on every Hallmark holiday and industry bandwagon and continue to yell in the hopes that someone is listening — and gullible enough to believe.

Happy Earth Day everyone!



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