Why Brands Are Pushing Sustainability

Wed, 2011-10-12 16:19

Executives from the popular candy and pet care brand, Mars, Inc, are looking to sustainability as a way of reinventing the brand. The company intends to find eco-friendly ways to produce their same products, thereby reducing their environmental impact and satisfying a changing consumer demographic.

The first Mars candies were created in 1911, and since then, the company has become a leader in manufacturing. Popular Mars candies include M&Ms, Milky Way, Snickers, and Twix.

One would think such a successful brand would rest on their laurels and take a relaxed approach to their marketing. However, Mars Chief Executive Paul S. Michaels notes that times have changed. He believes the company needs to re-evaluate its current advertising and push for more responsible marketing.

"We have always been active in communicating about our products, but historically did not feel the need to say much about our company," he said.

Although consumers still value products that are reliable and affordable, corporate sustainability has somehow edged its way into customers’ minds and proven to be a factor in their purchasing decisions. As more and more consumers are educating themselves on sustainable business practices and learning about the impact our products have on the environment, the more they expect from manufacturers.

Michaels adds that consumers trust companies to demonstrate quality and uphold values in the process of bringing their products to market. It is this viewpoint that is encouraging the Mars brand to seek out sustainability and, in the end, provide more information to its shoppers. The company will be promoting five core operating principles, based around “quality,” “freedom,” “responsibility,” “mutuality,” and “efficiency.”

In addition, Mars has set such environmental goals as lowering fossil fuels, emitting no greenhouse gases by 2040, and developing eco-friendly packaging. Utilizing local resources is also an important issue, and the company has been working with customers, academics, suppliers, and governments to learn more about the steps they can take to become more sustainable.

"Our objective is to create lasting, mutual benefits for all those involved in our business success by creating positive social impacts, minimizing our environmental impacts, and creating economic value," said Michaels.

Now is the time for business professionals from all industries to learn about corporate sustainability. The ability to define and restructure an organization’s environmental impact is a highly sought-after skill across all industries. As the executives from Mars have realized, consumers use a company’s reputation for sustainability as an influential factor in their purchasing decisions. It is something that cannot be avoided, and, if anything, will continue to be a consideration, alongside a product’s price and quality.

Those who want to learn more about sustainable business practices should look into becoming an ISSP Sustainability Associate. This designation benefits those companies who outsource sustainability research to their customers and suppliers. A full-time certified Sustainability Manager can help set environmental goals, evaluate current business practices, and make the transition to meet an organization’s goals a simple and efficient process.

To find out if you have what it takes, visit Everblue’s ISSP Sustainability Associate training page.

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