Marketing's role in sustainable living

Keith Weed

In a resource-constrained world, growth needs to be not only economically sustainable, but environmentally and socially sustainable as well. Marketing leaders need to grow businesses for existing generations and for the generations to come. Global CMCO, Keith Weed, describes how Unilever is tackling this massive challenge.

I believe that economic sustainability and social and environmental sustainability can be synergistic and not in conflict. To explain this, I'd like to answer three basic questions:

  • First, why does growth need to be sustainable?

  • Second, how do you grow and truly help people at the same time?

  • Third, how do you make what we call Sustainable Living commonplace?

The questions are complex, and many believe a company should surely concentrate 110% on keeping its head above water in these turbulent economic times and focus on the day job of economic growth. However, there are other big drivers, which are every bit as important as the economic environment, that are shaping our world and we ignore them at our peril.