She believes that while the jury is still out on whether brands are part of the problem or the solution to sustainable development, they are in a unique position commanding both the resources and the attention of society and the economy. Brands determine innovation in business, impact the supply chain by creating new norms, and play a role in determining human social aspirations.
She noted that brands are finally starting to realise that sustainability is more than just risk mitigation and a cost-saving strategy – it’s about revenue growth, innovation, and building on brand reputation value.
Sustainable Brands mission
“Our mission is to shift the world, but particularly we want to do it by helping brands really drive leadership and business success through innovation for sustainability,” said Skrzyniarz.
Soon to be operating on six continents, Sustainable Brands has a peer-to-peer learning network that includes 70 companies. Its focus is on three main areas:
Redefining the measure of value in business
Encouraging and driving breakthrough innovation
Tapping into insights around shifts in consumer and other stakeholder behaviour
Welcoming Cape Town to the global Sustainable Brands family, Skrzyniarz explained this year’s theme, How Now, as addressing the question of how to materialise sustainability. She went on to provide seven insights and strategies implemented by several global companies:
With new sets of tools and resources becoming regularly available, sustainability isn’t just for multinationals.
“The thing that’s exciting for us is that it is global brands that are having influence, but it’s also disrupters and small brands that are creating radical change,” said Skrzyniarz.
“Nobody is exempt from this opportunity at this point, and everybody should be looking at where they sit, what their resources are, what their aspirations are, and looking for how they can drive impact.”
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