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WHAT PROFITS THE PLANET ALSO PROFITS BRANDS

October 12, 2017

Sustainable Brands Oct 2017 Kuala Lumpur

 

Oct 10-11 Sustainable Brands held their 8th international conference this year in KL with corporations, global thought leaders and sustainability practitioners working together to drive sustainable development, grow business and support new initiatives.

 

Focus was on everything from the business value of being sustainable (PWC), corporate initiatives (P&G, Fuji Xerox, Nestle, H&M) and insights (Forum for the future, Gone Adventurin, South Pole Group).

 

Some general trends with specific implications for Asia:

 

  1. Climate Change - half of all natural disasters are in Asia

  2. Health Issues, diabetes and obesity - between 2010-14 Indonesia & Malaysia saw a 33% increase

  3. Big Data, Indonesia Gov’t today is tracking fishing vessels - Transparency in supply chain

  4. Automation, jobless growth, 132 million jobs might be affected, especially worrying in markets such as India – and Asia in general 

  5. Trends converging – plastic pollution is now in drinking water - What was an environmental issue is now a health issue

 

In Asia SDG’s continue to gain traction. Circular economy is especially interesting since infrastructure around waste is lacking and there is great potential to turn waste into assets.

 

There has been a 65% increase of electronic waste in Asia over the last five years. Food waste is another huge problem. Did you know that 37% of fruits & vegetables are not even reaching the consumers?

 

Sustainability as a business strategy and not CSR 

 

Having lived in KL & in Singapore I know there are no recycling systems in place. There is a lack of recycling systems/infrastructure and in many developing countries Govt's lack the money (1% of GDP in Indonesia). To strengthen a circular business model companies need to produce with waste in mind & why not take the opportunity to collaborate with Governments and other industries around recycling systems. - pretty sure it will be profitable!

 

Other interesting areas for business to explore:

  • Balanced Simplicity, clean and transparent

  • Easy & Healthy – e.g. collaboration between Amazon & Wholefoods

  • Sell Access & not Ownership – car2go

  • Declutter – schwopping, sell, see collaboration between Sellpy & H&M

  • Meaningful connections – Connected IRL eg Starbucks “third place”

 

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