How are you addressing “sustainability” ?

I received a query from our friend, David Weekes at LOUD in Sydney, this morning. He is wondering how agencies and marketers are embracing the mission of going beyond “campaigns” and working toward a higher calling in the work and actions. For clients and for the agency.

Then, on the one of the many daily email blasts that load up my inbox, I saw the following two famous quotes.

"It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously."
–Peter Ustinov, British actor and writer

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
–Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political leader

These got me thinking. What are you doing about the sustainability movement? What am I doing to truly understand and behave in a way that is good? Have I embraced my responsibility to assist us all in making a better place for everyone? What does that mean, really?

Yes, this movement is taking hold. It appears to be less internal at the agency. But some marketers are looking to develop real attitudes within their companies that promote this way of viewing themselves, their products, and how they involve their customer base. These marketers are asking their agencies to view the work in light of the mandates for “green” marketing. In essence, how can all the work demonstrate they are truly good corporate citizens. There have been a number of examples that show a direct relationship between corporations that harness the power of “doing good”, and loyalty (profitability) with customers and the public. Given the current economic conditions we are all facing, is this an opportunity that opens the door on the new way for business?

There have been some campaigns that have promoted “green”, but have been found to be just that — campaigns. Not really embracing the ideals of the movement. Just an attempt to capitalize on “saying” the right things, not “doing” what is important. Not really “believing”

I believe the only way it really works if a company lives the concept from the top on down. Works to have the “mission” of being citizens of the earth, and uses its brand/products as tools to build a better world for its people, customers, vendors and everyone it touches.

How do you define “sustainability”? What are you are doing about this subject? What you are thinking about? What are you hearing from clients, markets, the public, about “sustainability” as an issue, a movement, a potential change in how we all live and work? How is it going?

Please offer your thoughts. Maybe there can be some great ideas that help us all start working in a way that is just better.