Archive for the ‘USP’ Category
Uncovering Sustainability Potential – the new USP
Isn’t it funny how, sometimes, you write something, look at it for a while and then suddenly it hits you. If you go to our website homepage you will read “Uncovering Sustainability Potential” – which we came up with more than a year ago, neither of us spotted that the acronym was USP until the other day.
All of us will know USP as Unique Selling Proposition (or Point), something that all businesses seek and few truly find. Each acronym has words that people struggle with, I could go on and on about the misuse of the word unique and the big challenge that the breadth of definition of sustainability has created.
We came up with our version of USP, because we recognised that most organisations have the potential to operate more sustainably. To produce products that are more sustainable to the environment, to society and economically to the organisation. Any business that seeks to operate within the confines of societal expectations – the law – can be USP.
What does USP mean in practice? Fundamentally in order to uncover sustainability potential an organisation must go beyond basic legal compliance. The law sets the acceptable minimum, while others in society set different expectations. Simply complying with the law isn’t going to uncover anything but it is an essential starting point, because ignoring the law is a business risk too far. But looking ahead at the future directions of legislation can help to uncover potential.
Is there a trick to USP? We think there is, and it is that you must get well into the detail. Grand ideas, commitments and strategies all have their point but to uncover sustainability potential you need to get into the detail. Whether it is details of materials, design or understanding the needs of others, the detail is where the answer lies and where the challenges are, if ignored. By understanding the details of components, by challenging ‘business as usual’ and listening properly to others’ views you can see what hasn’t been seen before and begin to change it.
When many discuss our current society’s progress towards being more sustainable there is an expectation that we can instantly change everything for the good. We look back on history and the industrial revolution and expect change to be revolutionary – and this is another word that gets in the way of our understanding. Revolution implies an instantaneous change but the industrial revolution took generations – most believe it took roughly one hundred years between 1750 and 1850.
Changing to become more sustainable as a society will take a long time while the planet we live on is undergoing its own rapid change. Uncovering Sustainable Potential should become the new USP because if we don’t start soon to get into the details of what needs to be done then nothing will change. We will make mistakes and we will be slow but we believe we will get there. Those that get there faster will reap the early rewards and set the agenda.
The biggest difference between the old USP and our new USP is that few truly discover and distil a Unique Selling Proposition, whereas we all need to be Uncovering Sustainability Potential.
Over the last few months, working with a number of clients on how best to engage their internal teams, one
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I don’t think I’m one to scare easily but the headline in last weekend’s Sunday Times cut me
This post is going to short and sweet. It is a rallying cry to all sustainability professionals out there. Do
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It is fantastic to leave a seminar feeling inspired and full of practical ideas. Thursday’s oomph seminar did exactly that, Ben and Dan are naturals at putting an audience at ease which meant real participation from the group. As environmental professionals often form a one person team, it is fantastic to share a room with like minded individuals from local businesses who have faced and tackled similar challenges and can offer insight and advice. Eagerly anticipating the next installment of Oomph!
Nicola Duffy, Environmental Co-ordinator at Highcross, Leicester
Thank you both for inviting us to today’s Oomph seminar. From our point of view, we found the stimulus material and subsequent debate insightful from a sustainability perspective, but also in a wider context applicable to the successful deployment of general business initiatives.
Participant at Oomph Seminar 30 June 2011
Really enjoyed this morning. I have attended very few seminars over the past two years simple because they are all too similar, often the the same speakers and follow the same theme. Today was most importantly enjoyable, interesting and got the brain cells working. I like small groups with variety of people and backgrounds.
Participant at first Oomph Seminar 30 June 2011