5 levers for sustainable businesses–and for sustainable living

When we talk about having a sustainability in business, we often forget that sustainability in business is linked to sustainability in the home and sustainability across everything we do.  Unilever are trying to get everyone to behave in a more sustainable way with their simple video called 5 levers for change. 

Unilever produce things that we use every day. Their raw materials, manufacturing process and distribution only accounts for 31% of the total impact of their business. 68% accounts for the way that people use the products.  Unilever feel that they if they inspire their people to use their products in more sustainable ways, then the impact on the planet will be less.  Consumers will be able to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce disease by using appropriate products in a sustainable way, changing the way we behave

 

Their five levers are:

  1. Make it understood – so that people know what to do, and why its a good thing to do it
  2. Make it easy – people follow the path of least resistance, so make the new behaviour easy
  3. Make it desirable – so that people want to do it, and make it fit with how people want to be thought of and how they like others to think of them
  4. Make it rewarding – people need feedback and need to be sure that it’s rewarding and worthwhile
  5. Make it a habit – it takes time for a new behaviour to become a habit and remind them of the habit so that they do the right one

 

In identifying the behaviour that needs to change – and the behaviour to change it to, will enable cultural change across the business.  Speak to your workforce and find out what is stopping them from doing the more sustainable thing.  This is one step towards getting them to start behaving differently and implementing easy and workable processes that can get them to stick to the new behaviour.  Its a simple concept, and something that can work in any sized business.  From moving towards a paperless process, to encouraging healthy options at lunch we can encourage people to contribute to a sustainable, healthy way of life. 

With 2 billion people across the globe using their products every day, Unilever certainly have the clout to influence sustainable behaviour  – and change the bad habits that businesses and all of us have.

I hope they succeed…

 

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.