Want your business to thrive? Think like a sustainable brand.

Business as usual is over. To adapt and thrive, business owners and freelancers must think like sustainable brands. Learn how now.

Want your business to thrive? Think like a sustainable brand.
SELFRIDGES Project Ocean - Oxford Street canopy - credit Andrew Meredith

The era of business as usual has come to an end. To remain relevant and thrive, you must adapt and think like a sustainable brand.

The green economy shows no signs of slowing down

WPI Economics projects that the green economy will expand at double the rate of the digital sector over the next ten years.

Deloitte's executive survey reveals that 97% anticipate climate change affecting company strategies and operations.

Almost three-quarters of surveyed businesses have increased spending on sustainability initiatives in the past year, with 19% reporting increases of up to 20%.

However, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have not yet embraced sustainable practices, often due to insufficient information or perceived costs, according to British Business Bank research.

Want your business to thrive? Time to think again.

Adopting a sustainable mindset need not be overwhelming; with proper guidance, transitioning from 'what is' to 'what if' can be more manageable than expected.

To delve deeper into this subject, Liana Fricker, Founder and Inspirer-in-Chief at Inspiration Space, engaged in conversation with Caner Veli and Isabella Desmarais of Kind Community.

Discover the key takeaways below or scroll down to watch the entire conversation.

Embracing the Sustainability Shift

Entrepreneurship involves juggling multiple tasks, addressing blind spots, and continuous innovation.

Amid these challenges, how can sustainability become a priority instead of another burden?

Isabella Desmarais, Co-Founder of Kind Community, shares her insight:

"People generally want to do the right thing; the intention is there. It's about figuring out how to effectively tackle sustainability."

She suggests integrating sustainability into all aspects of a business, not treating it as a separate department or afterthought.

Caner Veli, Isabella's co-founder, urges entrepreneurs to ponder the long-term implications of their decisions:

"If you'll have no regrets when your grandchildren ask why you didn't help the planet, carry on. But if you feel you could've steered the ship differently, it's time to reflect and get in the race." I couldn't bear the regret of knowing I could've made a difference but didn't. I help brands benefit people and the planet, using my skills, experience, and knowledge."

Furthermore, consumers increasingly choose brands that are environmentally and socially responsible.

A joint study by McKinsey & Company and NielsenIQ showed that products with ESG claims had an average growth of 28% over five years.

In contrast, products without these claims only grew by 20%. Basically, companies that don't adapt may lose market share.

Success = Imperfect Progress

The green economy presents both challenges and opportunities for businesses and professionals.

As companies become increasingly aware of their environmental and social impact, demand for sustainable expertise grows.

However, obstacles like misinformation, greenwashing, and greenhushing persist, and fear of imperfection can hold back progress and learning.

Collaboration and openness can help businesses overcome these hurdles.

"There's something special about acknowledging that we don't have all the answers. People love to help and contribute their ideas, and sometimes they just need permission or an invitation to do so." - Isabella Desmarais

Isabella cites fashion brand Ganni as an example.

By openly addressing sustainability shortcomings like the gender pay gap and material sourcing, Ganni sought industry help and partnered with suppliers and collaborators to make improvements instead of hiding their imperfections.

Future-Proof Your Businesses in a Sustainable World

Isabella shares her experience working on sustainability projects at Selfridges and her subsequent focus on the entrepreneurial world.

"My journey into purpose-driven brands and sustainability is quite interesting. I come from a background in HR management and talent development, and I worked for a global luxury retail brand that you wouldn't typically associate with sustainability.

Despite that, the company was determined to put sustainability at the core of its operations, exploring models like the circular economy.

The company I worked for, Selfridges, led the way with initiatives like Project Ocean and Project Earth. I had the opportunity to support the chairman's office in delivering these projects."

SELFRIDGES Project Ocean - Oxford Street canopy - credit Andrew Meredith

Isabella suggests embracing imperfect progress and continuous learning.

"Sustainability is a journey, not a fixed destination," she says. Recognising different priorities among generations and being open to learning from one another is essential.

Collaboration and networking are also key alongside switching the narrative so that sustainability becomes more attainable for everyone.

Embracing the Green Economy: Key Steps for Business Success

To excel in the rapidly expanding low-carbon economy, small businesses must take an active stance on sustainability.

By establishing ambitious, science-based objectives and committing to ongoing learning, businesses can foster a collaborative and transparent environment.

With an increasing number of companies adopting this approach, the future promises significant strides toward a greener, more inclusive world.

Missed the live conversation? Check out the replay

The insights and information in this article were drawn from a live conversation between Liana Fricker, Founder and Inspirer-in-Chief at Inspiration Space and  Isabella Desmarais and Caner Veli, Founders of Kind Community.

To view the replay press play below...