Business in the Community (BITC), the UK's business-led charity championing corporate social responsibility, is calling for entries from businesses engaging customers on sustainability.
The Engaging Customers on Sustainability Award, supported by How on Earth, recognizes businesses that use their marketing activity to inspire and enable people to live more sustainable lifestyles and is one of the categories in BITC's Responsible Business Awards, the UK's longest running, peer-assessed responsible business awards. BITC's peer assessors will award a BITC "Big Tick" to all entries demonstrating significant achievement in their responsible business program, while the accolade of Overall Category Winner will be awarded to the company with the most outstanding program and impact.
Our world is changing rapidly. Natural resources are limited, our population is aging and developing economies have a growing middle class demanding more goods and services. As a result, the marketplace in which businesses operate is changing, too — communications and social media, technology improvements and access to credit are all impacting how people consume.
Businesses that recognise these trends and make the appropriate changes in their offer will prosper. However, brands can only do so much within their own businesses before needing to engage the consumer; through creative marketing to inform and educate (such as J&J's Care to Recycle campaign or Shelton Group's "Wasting Water Is Weird" campaign), or to influence behavior to use a product or service in a more sustainable way (such as Unilever's efforts to encourage customers to wash their laundry in cold water) — by engaging consumers, brands can demonstrate that living sustainable lifestyles can be easy, affordable and attractive.
The Engaging Customers on Sustainability Award recognizes businesses that use their marketing activity and campaigns to inspire and enable people to live more sustainable lifestyles. This may be through informing and educating people on sustainable products or services, a campaign to encourage more sustainable behavior (i.e. a change to how products or services are used), or to generally encourage customers to think carefully about the purchases they make.
A successful entry will demonstrate how they have influenced their customers to live more sustainably through a marketing or behavior change campaign, for example:
- Explaining how a product or service helps an individual live more sustainably (such as living healthier, living within one’s financial means, understanding and reducing one’s energy use and connecting, interacting and sharing with one’s community);
- Encouraging customers to change how they use a particular product/service to be more sustainable (for instance, to adopt a more sustainable way to use or dispose of a product);
- Encouraging customers to think carefully about the purchases they make (conscious consumerism) (for example, a company has made its supply chain more sustainable than its competitors, and why an individual should care).
Brands have a powerful impact on their customers, but their influence may be more widespread. BITC welcomes entrants from businesses that enable people (beyond their customers) to live more sustainably and demonstrate how this could be scaled-up for bigger impact (e.g. employees or university students).
All businesses that enter must have a presence in the UK.
For an indication of what a high-quality, sustainable lifestyle could look like in 2050, check out BITC’s Sustainable Lifestyle Headlines.
If your businesses has embedded environmental sustainability into core products or services, as well as the processes used to produce or develop them, BITC is also accepting entries for its Sustainable Products and Services Award.
To access the entry form, register on the BITC website.