Sustainability is the business of the future say marketers

The Chartered Institute of Marketing is urging the UK industry to seize the opportunity of sustainable business and has invited a world authority on corporate responsibility to speak at its national conference in October.

John Elkington, world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development, is to address the National Conference for marketers, being organised by The Chartered Institute of Marketing for Tuesday October 10 at the Business Design Centre, London.

Co-founder of SustainAbility, and, according to Business Week, a ‘dean of the corporate responsibility movement for three decades,’ Elkington has authored or co-authored 16 books, including 1988’s million-selling ‘Green Consumer Guide’ and 1997’s ‘Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business’.

Commenting on the National Conference, Elkington said: “Sustainability needs to be sold – to consumers, to customers and to investors. Truthfully, coherently, effectively, sexily. Given the theme for this year’s National Conference, ‘Marketing for Profit’, I believe that market trends suggest that we should be discussing not just one bottom line, but three.

“With companies like General Electric making billions of dollars from initiatives like ‘ecomagination,’ and retailers like Wal-Mart determined to green their supply chains, the marketing profession needs to wake up to the fact that we are entering a new era. Rather than being a cost burden, environmental and social responsibility and entrepreneurship create business and market value.”

Ray Jones, Head of Communications at The Chartered Institute of Marketing, said: “We are living in times where environmental and social issues are increasingly capturing world headlines and are being brought to the forefront of the business agenda. It will be interesting to note John’s take on how marketing can help transform the triple bottom line, as more and more businesses embrace sustainable practises, tackle environmental issues, and consider corporate social responsibility.”

Elkington is to join a line of high-profile speakers including world renowned marketer, Dr Philip Kotler, Robert Nuttall who is VP Marketing at Rolls Royce and Simon Hawkes, Managing Director at Loyalty Management Services, the Nectar Card people.

The Conference will take place in London’s Business Design Centre on Tuesday 10 October, when approximately 300 senior marketers are expected to attend. The key area of discussion is how to deliver marketing professionalism to keep the organisation within the profitable ‘black’ section of the balance sheet. The programme has been designed to be as interactive as possible and includes two workshops to enable attendees to discuss the challenges they face with their peers.

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