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5 tips to boost your planet-strategy with the Care Principles

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Sustainability is on everyone’s agenda today. Fueled by younger generations on the one hand, and by new laws and ESG regulations, every company today understands they better ‘go green, or go home’.

Unfortunately, many of the environmental promises are greenwashing. Research carried out by the European Commission[1] found that 42% of green claims were exaggerated, false, or deceptive.

This is dangerous ground for companies as sooner or later people will find out. Starting with your employees who know exactly what is true and what is “blablabla”, talking but not walking the talk.

Also, clients are more and more marketing-savvy and some dig deep to find your true actions, as they no longer buy your picture-perfect campaigns on sustainability.

The Care Principles strategic framework is focused on care for the planet and helps you:

  • To define your sustainability strategy
  • To get deep insights in your sustainability efforts with the analytical tool: Care Scan that asks your employees and customers how well your organization scores on sustainability.
  • Communicate better on what efforts are already in place, and what efforts are under development.

Here are the 5 tips to get to boost your planet-strategy with the Care Principles.                                          

Tip 1: Collaborate.

Collaboration on sustainability and innovation is finally becoming a staple on the agenda of business leaders. One cannot cheer loudly enough for brands that join forces to rethink or reinvent products or processes to take better care of the environment. The truth is, if you don’t collaborate on innovation, you’ll probably not make it into the next decade! Be inspired by open-source software initiatives and understand that your struggles are probably quite like the ones your suppliers, neighbours, are facing. Collaborate with them in an open and honest way to get the best and fastest results.

Tip 2: be agile.

Sustainability demands by customers and consumers are shifting at quite a fast pace. Where a couple of years ago we embraced products made from less polluting raw materials. Today many consumers don’t want to be pushed into over consumption and are looking at brands how they support recycling and re-use of materials. Carbon offsets are no longer accepted, and tree planting compensating initiatives are considered as faux-pas window dressing.

Make sure to research and follow-up on new demands so you don’t waste a lot of time and money on the wrong initiatives.

Tip 3: reliability means honesty.

Too many companies talk about a balanced profit- people-planet strategy, but we must not be fooled. Profit still rules the world and sure companies need profit to grow, but it can no longer be at the cost of people and the planet. Newly founded companies often not only talk about changing the world, but also act on this desire. They build their entire company around a sustainable, innovative product or service and a real purpose. But there is more to being a trustworthy company. Next to employees and clients who push you to go green, also investors will demand your ESG reports to double check how future proof your organization is.

Tip 4: show empathy.

The rising costs from mental and physical climate risks will impact everyone. Whatever crisis the world is facing, people will look at companies and ask them to react and show empathy. So, define a clear social responsibility strategy that can be clearly explained to all stakeholders. We are facing an era of increased brand responsibility that demands a transparent and empathetic approach on all levels.

Tip 5: understand generational shifts.

Generation Z – a digital-native generation born after 1995 – are coming of age and you’ll be meeting them soon professionally. They are rocking the world with their activism around gun control, climate change, racism, immigration reform, sexism, and the woke culture. They are not only talking about changing the world. They are doing it and are fearless when it comes to holding people in power accountable, no matter how ‘powerful’ or ‘famous’ they are. They are a generation pursuing purpose and following up on whatever genuinely ignites their passion. However, they might fight passionately for a cause one day and show conflicting behaviour the next. In surveys they will say that they prefer environmentally friendly products, organic foods, and ethical fashion—but not necessarily if they have to pay for it themselves. They are very aware of money and do not find anything conflicting about buying themselves the cheapest product on the market with their own pocket money, while throwing an ecological tantrum if their parents don’t buy the more expensive organic version of it. They don’t see anything conflicting in this attitude—to them it is just a matter of smart optimization. Pulling them into your company will demand a different people strategy, but once you understand how their brain works, you’ll love them!

Could you use a hand with your planet strategy?

Contact us on thecareprinciples.com

[1] https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_269

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