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Futerra, BSR Launch Tool to Build Business Case for Living More Sustainable Lifestyles

Image credit: Futerra/Sustainable Lifestyles Frontier Group

Although business leaders expect exponential growth in consumer interest and business action on sustainable lifestyles within five years, they are struggling to make the case for action, according to survey results released earlier this year by BSR and global sustainability agency Futerra.

The Business Case Builder tool helps solve this problem. The tool is the result of a collaboration between BSR and Futerra with the help of the Sustainable Lifestyles Frontier Group, which includes brands such as Carlsberg, Cathay Pacific, Disney, eBay, Hilton Worldwide, Johnson & Johnson, L'Oréal, Mars and Mondelez.

Users work through six steps to build their business case:

  1. Right behavior — Helping businesses choose the consumer behavior that will have the most impact on sustainability
  2. Right value — Focusing on the key drivers of their business growth strategy
  3. From a framework of different tactics, identifying the one that is most likely to change behavior and grow the business
  4. Right benchmark — Find the precedent for your chosen tactic, based on examples from nearly 30 case studies
  5. Do it right — Reviewing insights from global brands on how to deliver the best tactics to achieve results
  6. Celebrate it — Providing more evidence and feedback to this BETA version to improve the tool

All the case studies in the tool prove that helping people live more sustainable lifestyles is good for business: Sprint has saved over $1 billion by getting customers to recycle their old phones; Volkswagen Sweden grew market share by changing perceptions about low-emission cars with its Fun Theory campaign; and Levi Strauss’ ‘Water<Less’ product range sells faster than its regular lines.

BSR and Futerra built the Business Case Builder is built on their combined experience, along with insights from a survey of business executives, a series of global workshops, interviews with experts from leading brands, and 50+ case studies, some of which are shared within the tool.

The companies say the Business Case Builder is launching in beta because, though businesses see the value in it, recent studies show they need more evidence and feedback to articulate the benefits of helping customers live more sustainable lives.

“Without a clear business case, consumer sustainability will only ever be niche,” Solitaire Townsend, co-founder of Futerra says. “This work helps marketers make the case so now it’s not about proof, it’s about action.”

Elisa Niemtzow, Associate Director of Consumer Products at BSR, said: “Challenges like sustainable consumption need collaboration. The Business Case Builder tool is the fruit of cross-industry sharing and collaboration. It offers companies a practical resource to help deliver both sustainability impact and business value. We hope this initial version opens the door for increased business participation and further collaborative efforts.”

SB Issues in Focus For more examples of how brands are using #Communications to share their values with consumers, check out our Issue in Focus: Communicating Sustainability.

Jennifer Elks is Managing Editor at Sustainable Brands. She is a writer, editor and foodie who is passionate about improving food systems, closing loops and creating more livable cities. She loves cooking, wine, cooking with wine, correcting spelling errors in… [Read more about Jennifer Elks]


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