Kaia Vincent, Director, and Founder of Brevity Marketing recently spoke at The Great British Business Show held at London ExCel.
Here’s a summary of her presentation content which focused on sustainability strategies for business leaders in 2024.
75% of people in the UK express concerns about climate change. So, why does it seem we’re not making significant strides? The truth is change can be daunting. It’s human nature to resist what we don’t understand or feels overwhelming.
Kübler’s Change Curve perfectly illustrates how humans grapple with change. When faced with massive shifts, we often find ourselves stuck in the initial shock, denial, frustration, or depression of the situation. The left side of this curve mirrors our reactions when confronted with significant challenges that seem insurmountable or beyond comprehension.
But here’s the silver lining—change, albeit challenging, is inevitable and necessary. It begins with each of us and expands through our networks until it becomes ingrained in our society. The change curve shows us the path to navigate from initial shock and denial towards the positive, right-hand side, where adaptation, acceptance, and progress reside.
Pioneering change: Lessons from the past
Consider the monumental changes in history spurred by passionate individuals and groups. The Suffragettes fought for equal rights, Greenpeace advocated for recycling, and visionaries shaped the future of healthcare and work-life balance. Their actions ripple through time, showcasing the power of individual efforts.
Catalysts for change
Contrary to belief, substantial change doesn’t solely stem from large organisations; it often springs from identifying societal gaps and seeking innovative solutions. Companies like Deep Green Energy, Includability and Nurdle emerged from recognising broken systems or environment concerns, revolutionising norms in their respective fields.
Here’s some of the changes you can make to move to a more sustainable future:
Unveiling the leadership quandary
Leadership styles play a crucial role in sustainability. We’ve categorised leaders into two archetypes: Missionaries and Mercenaries. A Mercenary, focuses solely on profits without considering social and environmental impacts. In contrast, a Missionary, achieves success while prioritising ethics and social responsibility.
Knowing yourself is the ultimate superpower. Indeed understanding oneself stands as the ultimate strength and DISC profiling is a tool we utilise at Brevity to shed light on behavioural traits of leaders. Business leaders’ attitudes significantly impact their companies, making self-awareness vital for effective leadership.
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI): Integral to sustainability
EDI training fosters inclusivity and equity, vital elements for sustainable success. Empathy and understanding cultivated through EDI workshops can transform workplace cultures, encouraging compassion and support for diverse perspectives.
Crafting authentic values
Company values should be concise and genuine. Focusing on three core values aids in attracting the right stakeholders and fostering authentic connections. Brevity uses a tried and tested formula to help companies define their values and shares it in this blog post.
Cultivating sustainability at work and home
Implementing a sustainability challenge within your organisation fosters habits that impact personal and professional realms positively. It takes dedication and a consistent effort to turn an action into a habit – 66 days to be precise, but forming sustainable habits creates lasting change.
Kaia spoke about encouraging team members to undertake a monthly sustainability challenge such as making a meal out of leftovers each week or washing at 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees. Here’s a link to Brevity’s 12 month sustainability challenge PDF which provides ideas to make it easier to set sustainability goals with you team.
Walking the talk: Impact reporting
Creating an impact report enables businesses to assess their sustainability efforts and identify areas for improvement. Authenticity is key—recognise shortcomings while setting actionable goals for future growth.
Find inspiration from sourcing impact reports prepared by established B Corporations and other business for good brands.
A fellow B Corporation, Keartland and Co provides a free and very useful guide to help you get started with your impact reporting.
Take a look here at some Impact Reports by B Corporation brands:
Collaborative efforts for greater good
Engaging in community initiatives, volunteering, and networking within sustainable circles fosters meaningful connections and positively impacts society. These actions not only contribute to societal well-being but also improve team dynamics.
Kaia encouraged business leaders to provide 2 paid volunteering days for each employee every year, anything from beach cleaning to supporting local charitable projects. Kaia herself volunteers independently of Brevity for Guide Dogs as a puppy raiser and as an Independent Visitor for a young person in care for Hampshire County Council.
Partnering for sustainable change
Becoming a “Business for Good” can involve gaining certifications such as a B Corporation, becoming a member of B1G1 or gaining verification with Includability.
Brevity’s five unique marketing principles, the Marketing Mandala, ensures sustainability is embedded across your business, fostering a comprehensive approach to sustainable marketing.
Other quick sustainable changes can include investing in carbon reduction, joining a People Planet Pint event near you and improving your charitable giving strategy.
Embrace change fearlessly
Change is inevitable, but our response to it defines our future. Rather than fearing change, let’s channel our fear into driving positive disruption for our people and planet.
Let’s connect and continue our conversation about creating a sustainable future. Using our Marketing Mandala principles, together, we can turn aspirations into actionable strategies for a better tomorrow.