Blog, Culture

Sustainable businesses: the sustainable marketing series


Author: Aby Sullivan, MD

“We are advocates for great people doing good things” 

This features front and centre in everything we do, it clearly matters to us. But what does it mean exactly? It’s not about only working with ‘tech for good’ companies, or people trying to save the planet (although we do love them).  

It’s about valuing people and businesses who are committed to something worthwhile – who have created something to solve a problem. They really know their audience and they were driven by the motivation to help them whilst valuing the contributions of their ecosystem.  

We especially love working with these companies because often they aren’t getting the airtime they deserve. Because they’re doing things for the right reasons, shouting about their work doesn’t come naturally. This means they end up getting drowned out by louder companies who have less to say. 

There are several characteristics I tend to see in these kinds of entrepreneurs. 

First is that they want to run a good business, now. While aspiring to do better in the future is of course important (we’re doing it ourselves), people still need to want to do good every day. These are the people that really inspire us. 

The ones who, instead of making promises, deliver on their intentions. This could take a million different shapes: providing fair pay, supporting their team, building positive cultures, or creating strategies for good, not gain. 

As a consequence of all this, you can see the evidence in the kind of relationships they make 

Instead of viewing their people as employees, suppliers, customers, and stakeholders, they have created an ecosystem of partnerships. They value and respect every part of their supply chain. When your goal is to solve a collective problem, this makes absolute sense. It’s so much more sustainable because it’s not selfish. Instead, the business acknowledges that it takes all the component parts, working harmoniously, to be successful. 

Driving all of this is a long-term mindset. Even though they are putting in the work every single day, this dedication is underpinned by some kind of ‘bigger picture’. It’s more important to make impact that lasts than to get a quick win. It’s about building a legacy. 

Entrepreneurs with good intentions, with a sustainable perspective, are thinking about what they’re leaving behind beyond their business. They definitively understand and clearly demonstrate their role in the wider story of the world, because they’re led by a purpose that’s bigger than their profits. 

As business owners with responsibility, we also need to take accountability for our own roles in making things better, whatever that may look like. And don’t get me wrong, we can’t all be fighting crime, cleaning up the ocean, or inventing sustainable fuel sources. But we can make sure the thing we’re ‘selling’, and the way we’re marketing it, is making somebody’s life easier; better. 

Watch out for the next piece in the series, on Sustainable Infrastructure, coming soon.