Smart Business Will Never Go Out of Style
Posted on August 26, 2011

Sustainable, Eco, \'Conscious Business\' have become the trend over the last several years. But is it here to stay? Here is what the President and CEO of Omnicom, 
John Wren, had to say...

 

On sustainable, Eco, Green Conscious Business trend…

It is far more than a trend – sustainability in all of its forms is a larger part of the global economic conversation. Over the last few years, the voices calling for businesses to be smarter and more conscientious has evolved into a virtual chorus from multiple stakeholder groups. There is growing concern for the world we will leave for future generations, and a stronger push by various stakeholder groups – consumers, policymakers, investors and others – to act in a way that provides a better future for all. What seems to be more prevalent today is a focused effort by consumers and investors alike to reward sustainable behaviour.

 

On the significance of this development…

My belief is that smart business will never go out of style. Further, the measurements of a company’s value go beyond the bottom line, and performance around non-financial considerations – such as environmental stewardship, contributions to social justice and strong, transparent corporate governance – have become increasingly important. As information becomes even easier to access, proof of sustainable business practices will be much more important.

 

On consumers’ expectations...

Consumers are still looking for the products and services that make their lives simpler, richer and meet their evolving needs. 
At the same time, they want to feel good about what they are doing. As a growing number of consumers become more discriminating, it is incumbent on communicators to infuse aspects of sustainability and corporate citizenship into the brand essence. 

 

The role of advertising...

First and foremost, we have the opportunity to use communications to drive awareness – not just about the issues we face, but about potential solutions as well. And, based on that awareness, it is incumbent on us to use the full range of communications channels – advertising, PR, online, offline – to begin to shape behavioural change.

 

On defining a new set of priorities...

I am not sure there would be a new set of priorities. Investing in employees, ensuring a strong workplace, supporting communities, being responsible consumers of resources and disciplined, ethical management are all strategic components of successful companies. The tactics and objectives may evolve and change as needs change but the priorities are no different than they were...