Thursday, February 22, 2024

How does a sustainable business run?

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Talking to business students of Saint Kentigern, Jemma Whiten, director of Marketing and Digital Ecostore says that FMCG market is a very complex one. Times photo Wayne Martin

Conscious consumers are the biggest growing consumer group in the world and a lot of businesses want a piece of the pie, said Jemma Whiten, director of Marketing and Digital Ecostore as she addressed students of Saint Kentigern College on Thursday.

Businesses are realising that having ethical practises is a good pay off.  According to different surveys done globally, over 70 per cent of people are happy to pay more for products or services provided by companies with a proven commitment to positive environmental impact.

Talking to business students studying Ecostore as a case study for their International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, Ms Whiten gave an overview of complexities involved in working with overseas markets like China and the US.

“The fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) market is a very complex business and success is about getting so many things right. It’s about building a brand with purpose and meaning, a brand that consumers love,” she said to NCEA Level 1 Business students.

“To get consumers to love a brand, you have to connect with consumers and understand how everyone ticks. You have to create trust and credibility, which is not easy.

“To choose a better tomorrow, you have to picture the future,” she said about the 25-year-old safe, sustainable and eco-friendly brand that pushes people to stop and think every day about the choices they make.

Ms Whiten gave students an insight into the research and development, manufacturing process, supply chain, brand strategy and business management aspects of Ecostore as she spoke about the implications of growth in different countries and how it may not always be feasible.

Excited to see a school focussed on educating responsible leaders for a more sustainable world, she said that more than 40 per cent of the global population is between ages 10 and 24 and to solve the world’s problems, the next generation needs to not only know about environmental damage but also about sustainable development.

Head of commerce at Saint Kents Vaishally Patel said students have been studying the inspirational story of Ecoman entrepreneur and activist Malcolm Rands as part of the curriculum. The story of the organic gardener and hippy from Northland who built the pioneering global brand is a textbook example of humble beginnings, taking on multi-nationals and setting a new standard of healthier living.

“This was a good opportunity to be hands-on and get a deep insight of the intricacies of the marketing and operations of a sustainable product,” said Ms Patel.




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