Brands signal firm intent to 'sex up' sustainability

Brand leaders have signed up to a new initiative which aims to mainstream sustainability by making it sexy and aspirational to consumers.

The scheme, known as UK Dream, will attempt to engage disinterested people on green issues by taking a more imaginative approach.

It will encourage brands to examine all aspects of British culture, including lifestyle trends, well-being and infrastructure and rethink how best sustainability issues can be embedded within the fabric of society.

According to the programme's co-founder Vicky Grinnell-Wright, who is also associate director of Best Foot Forward, brands will be asked to take a more holistic view of sustainability - one that looks beyond the agenda of metrics and footprinting.

Under the scheme, environmental specialists will be guided towards the realm of behaviour change and marketing by focussing efforts on downstream consumer and citizenship conversations.

As the corporate sustainability agenda starts to shift towards integrating social, enviromental and economic prosperity into a cohesive whole, Grinnell-Wright says the programme will help businesses align their social and environmental sense of purpose.

"UK Dream is all about creating a populist agenda for more sustainable living, at a transformative scale," she explained.

"The programme marks a step change from the polarising, paralysing language of carbon emissions, restriction and 'less'. It is a deliberate move away from 'green' and fear-based sustainability. This is about creating consumer demand for a new aspiration."

The first UK workshop was held recently which saw the launch of a citizen and consumer sustainability practice - among the founder attendees were Marks & Spencer, Unilever, Mars and Rapanui.

Other strands of the programme's work will include mapping British food behaviours and a 'Digital Obesity' drive, which will examine social responsibilities in a world of unrestrained digital consumption.

Maxine Perella


behaviour change | unilever | M&S | social value


Waste & resource management

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