As the world moves toslash carbon emissions by 2030,brands are under increased pressure to adopt low carbon design solutions.
We work with businesses to embrace change, replacing outdated practices with ethical design solutions.
These adjustments result in efficient brands that produce less waste and do their bit to eradicate harmful materials. To achieve ‘Brand Sustainability’, we champion a low carbon design mentality, encouraging business leaders to build a legacy that will not only help their brands thrive but create a better world at the same time.
If you have a vision for your business, we’d love to hear from you.
How we achieve Brand Sustainability
We work with businesses to help them identify areas of risk and opportunity before designing low carbon design solutions.
For a business to be truly sustainable, we believe they need a clear understanding of what’s working for them, what isn’t and (most importantly) how to manage change.
For new clients, we begin the Brand Sustainability process by conducting a thorough sustainability audit to discover their strengths and weaknesses while finding potential opportunities and threats. The sustainability audit is holistic, collaborative and usually takes around six weeks to complete. The final product of the audit is a well-reasoned action plan created in partnership with all key stakeholders. This plan usually works over a defined period, typically from 3-5 years.
The solutions found within the action plan can take many forms, from new processes, policies and even products. We also explore production supply chains to identify where ethic design and low impact processes can be used. This often results in a new communications strategy and changes to materials and suppliers.
When working through a Brand Sustainability audit, we first look for the key strengths of a business. Many organisations are inherently sustainable or have at least some credentials to build on. The role of identifying these strengths is to raise awareness internally before building upon them externally. A strength may then become a core product USP that inspires a new range or service. These traits then become the backbone of our action plan.
The opportunities phase of a Brand Sustainability audit seeks out new and exciting areas where a brand can credibly expand. We also learn from other industries to find what is working well, then identify ways to include these in our plan. Not every opportunity can be actioned, so it is essential to openly discuss the pros and cons of each before agreeing on the opportunities that will deliver the biggest impact.
Every entity — be it a brand, product or person — has its weaknesses. We help businesses understand and resolve these weaknesses. By building awareness, a brand can begin to resolve issues and offset harmful processes with ethical design practices. We also help brands transform their weaknesses into opportunities. For example, many traditionally plastic-based product brands now offer recycling and re-fill services to help mitigate environmental harm while building trust and loyalty.
Brand Sustainability threats, much like weaknesses, can cause much bigger problems if left unchecked. The main advantage of identifying potential threats is to gain the ability to plan for and avoid damage through low carbon design development. Threats can also help to bring focus to an action plan and give context to potential opportunities. For example, a brand may counter-act multiple threats by seizing the right opportunity. Conversely, an opportunity may result in new threats in the future, making it less desirable. Our final action plan will make recommendations about which opportunities and threats should be addressed.
We help brands build internal awareness while generating ideas alongside those who know an organisation best.
Call us optimistic, but we believe that most people want to do good. It’s increasingly clear that employees, volunteers and other stakeholders want to drive positive change within their organisations. By developing appropriate tools and low carbon design systems, we can empower staff to reduce waste while giving them more reasons to feel good about their work.
We’ll speak with the people who know your business best, then define which ideas can help move it forward. When opening a conversation about sustainability and ethical design, many brands quickly discover that their staff are brimming with ideas. We help capture and channel these ideas through focused Brand Sustainability workshops and insight sessions before weighing up which concepts can make the most remarkable difference.
Up to date information surrounding waste or other inefficiencies is often lacking. By measuring some fundamental elements, a business will quickly build up a picture of where resources are being channelled. This doesn’t have to be painful or time-consuming; it can be as simple as measuring how much paper is used in a given week, how much waste is generated by a print campaign or how efficiently products are distributed. There is good business sense to this, as simply knowing how much time or finance is spent on each topic will help focus collaborative thinking about how resources are used.
We work with clients from a wide range of industries — from international companies that ship large quantities of product to those simply looking for advice on how best to approach it. The Brand Sustainability process encourages brand owners to look at opportunities and commit to simple, achievable goals that can be regularly reported against. To bring these commitments to life, we define these goals using the SMART methodology. These often work with a fixed timeframe of 5-years and may form part of their business plan and annual KPIs.
Staff that feel empowered to drive change are more likely to become advocates for your brand, both internally and externally. This helps the team take ownership of new processes and makes sustainable behaviour seem like the better choice. We’ll help you to empower your staff through targeted communications and recognition.
We use ethical design and to solve common problems such as toxic print, non-recyclable packaging and inefficient processes.
Ethical design practices can save you time, money and energy. In our experience, many brands don’t actually realise that their products or materials are produced unsustainably. By actively looking at the whole supply chain, we ask the right questions and uncover clear pathways to change. Working with a ‘closed-loop’ mentality, we also collaborate with leading printers, manufacturers and finishers to help our clients cut down on waste and eliminate the use of problematic materials.
We work with clients to design efficient communications strategies, removing materials and touchpoints that deliver minimal benefit and replacing them with meaningful, low carbon design alternatives. Practically, this will often mean a reduction in physical materials and an increase in digital communications.
As the old phrase goes, ‘saving money is the same as making money’.
Taking print production as an example, we regularly save our clients money by improving the quality of the materials they use. While this might sound counterintuitive, our intimate knowledge of the print process means we can efficiently design and plan materials to use almost no waste. That can be as simple as using a different press or sheet size, printing process or finishing method. The Brand Sustainability process can be applied to simple stationery jobs, right through to more complex packaging constructions.
Better materials are not always more expensive. We work with clients and suppliers to choose responsibly sourced materials from paper and packaging right through to inks, foils and print processes. Good resource management is essential when operating a sustainable production supply chain. Our list of suppliers are fully accredited and we only ever specify materials that are responsibly sourced.
Industry bodies such as the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) help to regulate and accredit proper management of wood fibres used in paper, while companies like FoilCo actively seek out ways to minimise the impact of their range of stamping foils.
We build transparency between our clients' businesses and their audiences, helping them report progress while championing low carbon design solutions.
We build transparency between our clients’ businesses and their audiences, helping both to speak confidently about sustainable processes while championing original solutions. That’s because transparency is essential when it comes to embedding sustainable practices and behaviours within an organisation. These practices are increasingly important because consumers are more educated, interested and ultimately involved in holding companies to account than ever before. By taking accountability for unsustainable or inefficient practices, brands can set an action plan to reduce or mitigate any harm caused.
A common question that crops up is, ‘Are we setting ourselves up to fail by talking about sustainability?’. Our response is almost always, ‘no’ — not if a brand is genuine in its desire and actions to become more sustainable.
Understandably, this question stems from the fear of how consumers will react to openly surfacing an issue or questionable practice. While a balance always needs to be reached, we measure the potential risks against the real threat of saying and doing nothing. Greenwashing is a critical issue today, with brands making claims while ignoring the negative. This may seem like an easy option, it does not take much digging to uncover the truth if consumers sense something is wrong. And mud does stick.
That’s why we encourage brand leaders to be open and honest about their processes while offering a clear direction of travel.
Transparent goal-setting can build trust among customers and help make sustainable changes appear less intimidating. We work with businesses to help them build communication materials that connect with their audiences and explain the reasons for change. These materials may include a mixture of print and digital formats — we also create dedicated websites for brands to report their latest projects, collaborations and initiatives.
Progress reporting is a long-established part of the Brand Sustainability action plan. We help businesses report their environmental impact in many ways, including online microsites, printed CSR statements and annual reports. By expanding upon the goals set during the definition phase, we work closely with brands to make data available to interested parties, whether they are legally required to or not.
'We offer a unique approach to sustainability consulting, partnering with ambitious businesses to find areas of risk and opportunity before tackling them together as one team.'
Liam Bonar, Creative Director
Think we can help?
We partner with ambitious businesses to breathe new life into their brands, products and services. If you have a vision for your business, we’d love to hear from you.