Sustainability and Product Superiority Must Go Together
“Customers come first.” This age-old adage has defined the consumerism culture for ages, for producers must focus on meeting the interest and tastes of their consumers. When the trends moved toward environmental concerns, products became more eco-friendly, which explains the myriad of sustainable options in the market today. The question, then, becomes this: how can businesses make their goods sustainable while standing out amidst the crowd of others that also “do good” while best-serving consumer needs?
THE LAST FRONTIER OF SUSTAINABLE GOODS
P&G, one of the world's largest conglomerates, became the game changer when it started tracking sustainability across its products' entire life cycle—not just when those goods are in the assembly line. This is because the company already had a top-of-the-line internal procedure, with smart factories that emit less carbon during production and clean energy powering their plants. However, its recent study shows that the highest amount of carbon emission is in the consumption of its products and services. For example, when using dishwashing liquid, people tend to use an excessive amount of water. With this insight in mind, P&G developed a new kind of highly-concentrated dish soap that requires less water to activate, resulting in a 33% power reduction. This innovation serves consumers' needs while appealing to their inclination toward green products and benefiting their desire to reduce electricity bills.
BE SUSTAINABLE AND USEFUL
Besides revisiting value chains and designing new goods and services with reduced carbon footprints, companies must continually innovate products that benefit the world. Ariel, a major laundry detergent company, has developed a line of washing powder that works better in cold water. This allows a washing machine to operate at 30°C instead of 60°C, saving 60% on electricity costs. In another example, Always, a hygienic goods producer, has invested in materials sourcing and design, empowering it to achieve its product portfolio to be 50% renewable.
This goes to show that even when brands offer sustainability, they must still meet and exceed customer needs. Brands can rise above in terms of profit and beyond in terms of environmental nurturing—a GREAT combination of benefits to companies and every stakeholder in their ecosystems.
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