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Five Takeaways From 90min With NZ's Business Sustainability Experts

What does sustainability mean to consumers? How can businesses be profitable while operating sustainably? Brianne West, founder of Ethique and Incrediballs and Kate Hall, educator and writer, sat down with a group of Christchurch businesses to discuss what practical steps they can take to begin their sustainability journey.

1. Get Started

Just doing something, even the smallest of initiatives makes a difference – and is better than not doing anything at all. Don’t make the mistake of pouring all your resources into developing a sustainability strategy that you then don’t have the resources to implement. Develop a strategy, but don’t let it stop you from doing something now to make a difference.

2. Sustainability alone is not enough to sell your product or service.

Sustainability as a consumer trend is decreasing, largely driven by the cost-of-living crisis. Marketing the sustainability of your product/service or brand is not enough – it’s a great addition to your marketing toolbox but it shouldn’t be your only message. For example, if you want to buy a shoe, it has to be comfortable and fit well first; if it’s also made of sustainable material and produced sustainably, that’s a great selling point.

3. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.

Instead of searching for perfection, do the best you can until something better comes along. As your business grows, you may be able to use your scale to opt for more sustainable options that weren’t viable or available at the start up stage.

4. Make a profit

Too many sustainability-led businesses fail – either due to founder burnout or practices that aren’t financially sustainable. Businesses need to find a balance to achieve profitability in a way that aligns with their values.

5. Bring your customers along with you through honesty

Businesses may be reluctant to communicate what is sustainable about their product or businesses due to fear they’ll get criticised for the things they are not doing. Instead, be honest and vulnerable about what you are doing. Bring your audience along on the journey of your achievements and what you are still working on.

Watch the event video

Learn more from Kate and Brianne by watching the full video of the event.

Here's how to get started

Sustainable Business Works

Sustainability Strategy Toolkit

If you’d like to learn more, check out the Toolkit developed by Brianne West and the Inspire team which will take you through the steps you need to take on your sustainability journey.

Thanks to Insprie and PwC for partnering with ChristchurchNZ to bring this event to Ōtautahi businesses.