The annual Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) Forum, which at one time targeted small green-businesses, has attracted Fortune 500 companies like Facebook, eBay and Wal-Mart to this year’s conference in Boulder, reports the Colorado Daily News.
The LOHAS forum now includes Fortune 500 companies among the 260 businesses that attended this year’s three-day sustainability conference. LOHAS focuses on the $209 billion global market segment that includes health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living, and social justice.
Ted Ning, LOHAS director, told the Colorado Daily that the increased interest by big corporations reflects a changing dynamic characterized by consumers demanding more environmentally aware businesses. He also said that companies are beginning to look for business partnerships that allow for growth in their sustainable business plans.
The conference included corporate strategy panel discussions by industry leaders, and exhibitor booths displaying a range of green-friendly products. Key topics covered roadmapping a new business model for sustainability, sustainable plastics, sustainable tourism, adding environmental sustainability into a company’s core values, and LOHAS market data.
During a speech at the conference, Steve French, managing partner of the Natural Marketing Institute, which tracks the LOHAS market, said when he attended his first LOHAS conference 10 years ago about 20 percent of the general public gave any thought to ideas such as recycling or buying environmentally-friendly products, reports TimesCall.com.
French also said in the article that today this trend has reversed, although that doesn’t mean 80 percent of the people are die-hard LOHAS believers. He said 17 percent of American consumers are die-hard LOHAS consumers, 16 percent are “unconcerned” about the environment and society as a whole, and the remaining 67 percent of Americans fall somewhere in between.