As far as Aliter Network’s Purposeful People go, I think I’m the newest to the team. I took the role of Global Marketing Manager just 6 weeks ago, and it’s been a wonderful end to this year – connecting with colleagues in both Singapore and the Netherlands. A little about me. Before Aliter I held other marketing and corporate social responsibility (CSR) focused roles.
But what led me to marketing was my time working in architecture, designing and building homes. I have an eye for detail, and in architecture, there’s an element of marketing involved – you need to get your concept across to your client to align on your design and vision.
Back to now. Landing this role is a great next step in my career. It has a global focus, but perhaps more importantly, Aliter is a proud, certified B-corp and a purpose-driven organisation. Their mantra also caught my eye – I love the way the brand puts themselves out there. Their narrative is built around their vision: Aliter is for people, planet and profit.
“It’s become increasingly important to me personally and professionally to be a part of building a more sustainable future. And now I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to help lead the conversation around circular IT and the benefits of a circular economy.”
And I strongly believe in the value of a purpose-driven narrative for brands. Not only is it positive from a budget and environmental perspective for companies to commit to sustainable practices where possible, it adds a competitive advantage and makes sense for the future.
CHANGING CONSUMER DEMANDS
“The reality is, whether it’s circular IT or another eco-friendly focus, if you have sustainability as part of your business narrative, the circular economy becomes part of your DNA.”
At Aliter, we’re having conversations around this idea daily. With both big and small businesses, But that’s not to say companies are necessarily exploring circular IT or sustainability from an environmentally-conscious perspective. In our case, we understand that more often clients are thinking about how refurbished IT could help them lower operational costs.
But it’s worth thinking about. If you choose to use refurbished IT with the intent of reducing e-waste (or you walk the sustainability talk in one of many other ways), your consumers are going to buy into it. And that could be your point of differentiation from competitors – especially now with this expanding economy, and as we continue to navigate the pandemic.
“Because what helps one company stand out from another is the way they support consumers to make purchase decisions.”
In Aliter’s case, saving money might be the start (or very necessary, practical attraction), but a purchase decision for refurbished IT also comes with social and environmental benefits.
And indeed, we see shareholders’ purchasing preferences changing across the globe. More and more, they’re looking for a choice that benefits the whole bottom line, not just the financials.
A recent report by ING on consumers’ shifting demands and sentiment towards the circular economy illustrates this nicely. “More than eight out of ten (83 percent) consumers think their own behavior and choices can have a positive impact on addressing global environmental challenges.”
Many are taking the time to research the environmental impact of products such as electronics, are becoming more concerned about e-waste, and would be more likely to buy from a company that supports sustainability initiatives.
FUTURE PROOF FOCUS
“It’s quite evident that consumers are working with their wallets for environmental and social causes. That they care.”
So if you’ve got their buy-in, building sustainable goals and activities into your company means you’re future-proofing your business too. And that tells me that it makes sense for all companies to move forward with a more sustainable vision and narrative.
And the ideal flow-on effect is that gradually, the more that businesses shift, the more markets will shift too. And slowly but surely we’ll move towards a circular economy on a larger scale.
But to get there, as businesses and decision-makers, we must understand that to create lasting, effective change, we must work together.
PART OF THE BIG PICTURE
Beyond making internal sustainable decisions, businesses should team up with other companies to create significant impact on the world scale. And that’s where digital transformation and globalisation can be a big help – advocating for and enabling a united front.
This goes for large corporations and small businesses. Find like-minded brands, connect, and see how you can work together for the betterment of the planet and society. You’ll see that in turn it is mutually beneficial.
For Aliter, one such like-minded community is our fellow Certified B Corporations. Those companies who have found a way to balance profit with purpose – a community of sustainable leaders that continues to grow in different industries and business verticals.
CULTURE AND DIALOGUE COUNT
We are particularly proud to have become a B Corp this year, but it didn’t happen overnight. There are less intensive ways to engage in sustainability too. Who do you choose to work with externally? And how do you foster company culture?
Opening a dialogue around sustainability, supporting with or sharing educational resources and learnings, and building meaningful relationships go a long way too.
“I’m proud to say that I think companies that work with Aliter like that we walk the talk. From the way we do our logistics and approach sales, to the content we share, and the charities and companies we work with to offset our carbon emissions and make a difference with IT.”
If we enhance our business to meet shifting consumer demands around sustainability, find allies in each other, and work to make sustainability part of our culture and narrative – not just our CSR strategies – it all plays a part in the bigger picture.