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Sustainable Business Practices

A Purpose-Driven Approach 

As society becomes more socially and environmentally conscious, consumer trends are beginning to shift. In a fast-paced, digital world obsessed with hashtags and causes of the month, finding your purpose can seem overwhelming. By incorporating a purpose-driven approach into your business strategy, you can attract more customers and expand your clientele. 

Beyond Profits – The Importance of Having a Purpose  

A purpose-driven business approach focuses on a specific social or environmental cause that resonates with potential customers who care about making a difference in the world. Understanding your target audience is vital to this type of business approach. 

Another critical aspect of creating a purpose-driven business approach is to look beyond your profit margin. The key is understanding the impact your business has on society and the environment. This will allow you to find your niche in a purpose-driven market and refocus your brand. 

 

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One successful example of a purpose-driven business approach is the Green Circle Salons program. This award-winning initiative emphasizes sustainability and seeks to reduce the environmental impact of beauty salons by recycling up to 95% of all waste. 

Sustainable Business Practices: Statistics 

Recent surveys show that the majority of consumers care more about corporate responsibility, and, by extension, sustainable business practices, than ever before. According to statistics retrieved from a 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study

  • 63% of Americans are hopeful businesses will take the lead to drive social and environmental change moving forward, in the absence of government regulation
  • 78% want companies to address important social justice issues
  • 87% will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about 
  • 76% will refuse to purchase a company’s products or services upon learning it supported an issue contrary to their beliefs

Boost Your sustainable Business practices – Finding Your Purpose 

With many social and environmental causes currently being addressed, any business model can find sustainable business practices to align itself with in a meaningful and effective way. 

  • Be sincere – Find a purpose that is important to you and your target audience rather than jumping on the latest social or environmental cause currently trending on social media. The Container Store focuses on what they refer to as conscious capitalism. Ranked under Fortune’s 100 best companies to work for, they promote creating a positive and inclusive work environment and business approach. 
  • Aligns with your brand – Your brand needs to reflect your core business values. Your core values should reinforce how your business is making a difference in the world. Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and gear company, is very passionate about environmental impact and community activism.

It’s important to remember that a purpose-driven business approach is not the same as running a charity or non-profit organization. Instead, you are focusing more on social responsibility and how your business impacts the community. Sustainable business practices can help you make your mark on the world in a positive way.

Text by Laura LaFrenier, a freelance writer who works with Seven Oaks Consulting. Photo by Roshan Dhimal on Unsplash

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