Challenge the establishment. That’s what you should do if you’re young and don’t really have to care about being fired. (Actually that’s what you always should do!) That’s exactly what the students over at Berghs School of Communication have done this year once again.
Their contribution to an often shallow advertising world is driving sustainability. They’ve decided to make their entire final exhibition about sustainability, they’ve established a prize that award sustainable communication and they’ve also just launched their campaign site that promotes their final exhibition – A Sustainable Plan.
About a month ago I got the question if I could share my point of view on sustainability on their site. Their question really got me thinking but then last week I came back with my answer. Read it there or here:
Sustainability and brands – my point of view
A choice between choosing and not to choose
It’s not up to me to define what sustainability is all about. It’s up to each and one. You and me need to decide for ourselves. What are we prepared to do to save the world and maybe even more importantly – what are we not prepared to do. After all sustainability goes both ways. A choice between choosing and choosing not to choose. But it’s our choice.
The problem today is: What are we choosing?
The future ecosystem of consumption it built upon trust between brands and consumers. Responsible brands, they provide us people with guidance. Through their communication brands lead us into a sustainable future. The products and services they offer us are the tools we need to lead the life we choose while helping this planet to endure.
This ecosystem is a fragile one. After all, how can we as individuals really know if a pair of jeans are made out of ecological fabrics. How can we know that a chair produced in the third world hasn’t been put together by kids. What says your favorite brand aren’t lying when their telling us that they are giving back to society?
Let’s be honest, very few brands have even started their journey to become truly sustainable and it’s because most brands still run their business with one goal – make money. Behind that thick door that leads to the board room you’ll find a bunch of people that have been around for ages. Most successful brands today are very good at two things – making money while staying ahead of competition. In order to do that they’ve built up walls of secrecy. For these brands transparency is a bad thing. Yet transparency is exactly what we consumers need to be able to separate the green-washers from the true heroes. So, for now we’re left with trust. Trust what brands are telling us about their sustainable plans but not truly knowing the real ruth.
Governments all over the world are shaping new laws and regulations that will lead both brands and consumers towards a sustainable future. Until they’ve done with their work we as consumers write the laws that drive change. Our money is our pen and the lifestyle we lead is our paper. Award brands that are acting sustainable and transparent while punishing the greenwashers. It’s our only option.
So, let’s end this where we opened. It’s a choice between choosing and not to choose. And if your brand is not part of the sustainable ecosystem for real – I’ll choose not to choose.