The business case for building sustainable products

August 2023

What do the experts think...

Josh Geelan from KPMG said that when you create a values based business, then values-aligned clients and businesses will actively seek you out and come to you. Learning about climate conscious growth in our Industry Leader Series, I’ve also been reflecting on creating value from values.

As a product leader I’ve always known that sustainability is good business, and now I believe it’s time businesses redefine the measures we use to launch new products, services and ventures. For a long time making money and doing the right thing have been diametrically opposed. But the world is fast changing, and the opportunities for businesses to prosper while having a positive impact on our world are endless. So jump on board, and let’s look at why doing the right thing will do your business right.

Customers are going green, and their dollars are following

  1. 81% of customers prefer sustainable brands
  2. Better yet, 34% of customers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands.
  3. Purpose driven shoppers will  pay 35% more for sustainable products
  4. Products with ESG considerations at their core grow 8% faster YoY than non-esg products

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There’s a market revolution, and fortune favours the green

  1. There’s a $12 trillion market opportunity for Net Zero offerings
  2. 66% of multinationals will pay more to suppliers with lower emissions
  3. 46% of businesses require supply chain partners to meet sustainability criteria
  4. 90% of institutional investors assess environmental impact when making investment decisions

What does that mean for product and business leaders?

Now that customers and market opportunities are favouring sustainable businesses, we need to change the way we measure new products, services and ventures. For too long we’ve analysed new product opportunities through 3 simpler factors:

  1. Desirability: Is it something customers want? Does it meet their needs and desires?
  2. Feasibility: Is it technically possible to create this product or service?
  3. Viability: Will this be financially sustainable for our business?

It’s time for product and business leaders to add a 4th crucial factor when analyzing new opportunities:

  1. Sustainability: Will it have a positive impact on people and the planet? What environmental or social benefits are we creating?

So next time you launch something new into the world, ask yourself - will this have a positive impact on our people and planet? And if not, is this something the world really needs?

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