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2 thoughts on “Doug Burgoyne: Embracing Sustainability in Business

  1. Great presentation Doug. The one comment I have is more about the behavior you noted regarding consumers not wanting to spend a penny more for “green products”. Since changing behavior seems to be the most challenging aspect of going green en masse, I wonder how those of us in the business can start to address this dynamic proactively. When manufacturers started using short cuts and environmentally damaging ingredients and processes in their goods to drive costs down, consumers were all too happy to pay less for these environmentally unsustainable products. The mindset of “not paying a penny more” for sustainable products, even those that are similar but not significantly better than others on the market, is the biggest challenge faced by marketers of green products. There has to be a path to the transitional economics of “green” where by paying more initially for the added environmental benefits is the cost of getting manufacturers to produce environmentally friendly products in sufficient quantities to drive prices lower again. Something Kevin O’leary can even get behind. I think it’s up to the businesses that seek to amplify the Voice of the Environment in their business model (like Patagonia) to consciously work on this behavior change in everything they do and say about their product. It’s time for the “Silent Spring” of environmentally friendly and sustainable products to be considered as the only viable way forward.

  2. “Something Kevin O’leary can even get behind.”

    Priceless.

    As for green, the customers may not be the only determining factor in getting green products on the shelves. In recent years, I believe, Wal-Mart has, for lack of better words, stiff-armed some of its suppliers into stepping up and producing greener (and also healthier, although this discussion is on green) products. Essentially a “step up or we’ll buy from someone else” mandate.

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