Lessons In Purpose From International Brands

In 2018, we are seeing more companies shifting towards eco friendly business models, with a distinct movement towards purpose and social impact. This is a big step in the right direction for the global purpose revolution.

Two prime examples of global brands making the step towards sustainability are Reebok and Lacoste. Despite the fact that these corporations operate in different regions and industries across the world, they have one similarity; putting sustainability at the core of their business goals.

Lacoste’s campaign called ‘Save Our Species’ is the culmination of a three year partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Lacoste replaced its iconic crocodile with designs of 10 endangered species of animal from around the world. They decided to release the same number of shirts as remaining animals of each species to further raise awareness on the sense of urgency affecting our biodiversity.

Reebok decided to prioritise sustainability with the launch of a sustainable sneaker made from organic cotton and corn.  Reebok identified the significant wastage that the industry creates, and designed a product that took plastic and rubber out of the waste equation.  Reebok are also working on a second version of the shoe that will be 100% compostable. With this initiative, Reebok is showing a long term commitment to sustainability.

To raise awareness around the impact that climate change will have on the world, The French Association of Journalists For The Environment launched a campaign called Bordeaux 2050.  This campaign took a unique approach on a high profile and very well documented world issue. Through the initiative, they sought to give the world the real taste of global warming. They partnered with researchers, scientists and wine experts, and studied climate data projection over the next 30 years.  The result was a wine that simulates the taste of a Bordeaux grown in 2050.

These campaigns have not only resulted in favourable business outcomes, but also achieved a wider outcome specifically around raising greater awareness on the social issues they were promoting.  This resulted in an increase in mobilised people as well as significant spikes in donations for the not-for-profit organisations involved.

In today’s world, millennials are more interested in associating themselves with companies that have a social conscience and those that care about the environment. These multinational corporations understood this movement, making significant headway in these social impact areas while standing out from their competitors as a result.