Col­mar Brun­ton

Element - - BUSINESS -

Col­mar Brun­ton re­placed its bins with small desk cubes.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Jac­que­line Ire­land says it gave staff the mes­sage they had to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for their own waste.

It’s part of a raft of mea­sures the mar­ket re­search firm has adopted over the past cou­ple of years to model and un­der­stand sus­tain­abil­ity – from en­cour­ag­ing video con­fer­enc­ing rather than travel, to putting a worm farm in the of­fice.

Col­mar Brun­ton pro­duces the an­nual Bet­ter Busi­ness, Bet­ter World report that tracks how per­cep­tions of sus­tain­abil­ity af­fect choices cus­tomers make and the bands they sup­port.

“When we do word test­ing, peo­ple as­so­ciate sus­tain­abil­ity with pos­i­tive words, but they don’t want to con­nect neg­a­tive words like ‘toxin’ or ‘poi­son’ with ‘un­sus­tain­able’. That in­di­cates pos­i­tively-worded mes­sag­ing has more im­pact,” says Ire­land.

She says while many or­gan­i­sa­tions con­sider sus­tain­abil­ity be­ing about the cor­po­rate rep­u­ta­tion side of the busi­ness, it’s bet­ter placed in mar­ket­ing.

“We be­lieve mar­ket­ing around sus­tain­abil­ity is poor, and cus­tomers are con­fused on how to make the best choice.

“Ev­ery­thing counts. If you care enough to sup­port so­cial ini­tia­tives, en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives, or even to run a well-man­aged busi­ness, that is what con­sumers look for.”

Thom­son’s of­fice now pro­duces a third less waste, as peo­ple think more about what they con­sume.

“It saves money but one of the ben­e­fits to the or­gan­i­sa­tion is the im­pact on staff. Two thirds of peo­ple say they want to work in a busi­ness that is sus­tain­able. There is a short­age of tal­ent and we want to stand out as an or­gan­i­sa­tion that cares,” she says.

Jac­que­line Ire­land and Janine Saun­ders of Col­mar Brun­ton. Photo: Ted Baghurst.

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