Sustainability and the Eco-Products Value Proposition

It shouldn’t be particularly surprising that we try hard to run our company in sustainable ways. Marketing 101 tells you that a brand like ours would never work in the long run if we didn’t find ways to practice what we preach. We, and others, call this walking the talk, and it is a crucial part of how brands like ours gain credibility with customers and other audiences.

As awareness of environmental sustainability grows, we are thrilled to see more and more companies measuring and reporting on their environmental impacts. Many of these companies offer products and services whose benefits live outside the realm of green, meaning that sustainability attributes are not the primary driver in customers’ purchasing decisions. While American consumers are growing more and more aware of sustainability issues and are making purchasing choices accordingly, the dominant model of consumption is still closer to – “if the burger tastes good I’ll eat it”, and “if the shirt looks good, I’ll wear it”. In fact, some of the greenest companies we admire are doing things that many of their customers know little to nothing about, not because their initiatives are not impressive, but because sustainability just doesn’t figure into their core value proposition.

Of course, we are in the opposite situation. Sustainability is core to our brand, meaning that our efforts to be environmentally and socially responsible play a large role in our customers’ decisions to work with us. We therefore not only have to make products that perform well, have great aesthetics, and are reasonably priced, but it is absolutely crucial for us to deliver our brand promise in a way that is mindful of the earth and future generations. This is what our customers expect of us and what we expect of ourselves.

The tough part is that we are not and will never be perfect. Some of our impacts are within our direct control to affect, and some of our impacts we influence minimally. What we know for sure is that the best way to manage any of our impacts is thorough measurement combined with public goal setting. Our shareholders would never let us operate without measurable financial targets, and we think the rest of the world ought to have some metrics to measure us by as well.

The idea is to update this report every year going forward, so we hope you’ll think of us around Earth Day next year and check back to see how we are doing. We can say with confidence that some things we’ll do well with and others we’ll kind of suck at – that’s just the way it works. In the meantime, we can promise you that we’ll be working as hard as we can to walk the talk for you – it’s the only way we know how…

Wendell Simonson
Vice President of Marketing
Eco-Products


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