Does Sustainability Require Customer Education?

Caterina Sullivan
3 min readSep 2, 2021

We constantly hear the narrative of business as ‘unusual’ in order to create an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future.

But what does this mean? And are customers ready for this transition?

COVID-19 has pushed us to think differently and approach work environments in unusual ways. The pandemic has demonstrated we have the ability to adapt when we are forced to do so.

Unfortunately, many don’t see the climate emergency as pressing as the pandemic; however, climate action is an urgent requirement to ensure we are mitigating the dangerous effects of climate change.

Business as unusual is the decision to push what we understand about how we work and operate in a society to our limits to see what innovative practices we can adopt in our own lives.

The hard truth is that our customers are not quite ready for this.

The good news is that as business owners and operators, we can help our customers and clients get ready for this transition.

The most important part of implementing a business as unusual approach is ensuring your customers understand why your organisation is doing this and how it benefits them.

A great example of this is the transition many people are taking from using shampoo in a bottle to shampoo bars. At the outset, shampoo bars are more expensive and can be intimidating for people to use. However, once researching the product further, consumers will find that shampoo bars are, in fact, more cost effective as they last longer than the average bottle of shampoo. There is definitely a learning curve as to how to use the bars but once the consumer has the hang of it, it’s very straightforward.

The key to this is understanding that consumers in the modern world don’t always have time to do their own research into products. That is why is it up to organisations selling sustainable products or using sustainability as a branding tool to ensure education is easily accessible for consumers. In the case of shampoo bars, short videos on social media or in e-newsletters are a great way to highlight some of the benefits of not only the product but the entire transition process to consumers.

Caterina Sullivan

Chief Executive | Business Founder | Change Agent | Inspirational Leader | High Achiever | Role Model | Award-Winner