In this week’s episode of Waste360’s NothingWasted! Podcast, we chat with Anne Bahr Thompson, author of “Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit.”
We spoke with her about sustainability, supply chain mindfulness, the power of small acts and more.
Waste360: Can you give us an overview of your five-step brand citizenship model?
Anne Bahr Thompson: It runs across what I label the me-to-we continuum. The idea is that what’s now known as purpose … for a business, this should be tied to what their business is about, and it should lead to a social mission as well as a customer value proposition. The five steps embrace that and begin with trust—which is step one on the “me” side of the continuum. It then moves through enrichment, responsibility, community and contribution (“we”).
Waste360: Can you share a meaningful story or observation from your research?
Anne Bahr Thompson: One important thing with responsibility, and essential to understand, is that unless you’re first and foremost viewed as treating your employees well, people will not give you credit for the good you’re doing in other aspects of your business. Certain companies deserve credit for their extraordinary sustainability initiatives, but a shadow hangs over them all the time if they’re viewed as treating their employees poorly.
Waste360: Packaging is obviously a huge issue in the waste stream right now. Do you think big retailers will start to feel even more responsible for what they’re putting into the world with increased attention on “doing good in the world?”
Anne Bahr Thompson: Yes, I think they have no choice in order to sustain themselves as businesses. And each time one company does something better, the bar gets raised. That’s how we continue to fulfill increasingly demanding customer needs.