In the age of the conscious consumers, simply posturing around ethics and ideals isn’t enough – consumers want proof that a company has demonstrable moral values. As such, the benefits of pursuing a strategy of social responsibility are essential to brand image. Instead of the usual consumption-driven marketing ploys, consumers are leaning towards a more ethical purchasing behavior. Take ‘Buy One Give One Free’ promotions; rather than the age-old ‘Buy One Get One Free’ scheme, consumers are encouraged to invest in good causes while enjoying their purchase. This strategy is particularly effective for sustainable cosmetics brands, who provide a luxury product while upholding ethical standards.
Greater emphasis on corporate responsibility is fueled by consumer concerns with the environment. In fact, 6 in 10 consumers are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact, according to a study conducted by IBM.
Moreover, post-recession values of accountability and durability have permeated the ethical area, compelling companies to demonstrate their environmental, social and fiscal responsibility. However, this obligation has meant the CSR marketplace is increasingly crowded, making it more challenging for companies to demonstrate that they’re making a difference. Consumers are looking beyond green; instead, they are looking for in-depth corporate responsibility efforts that help the environment and communities.
As the stakes to stand out in the CSR space grow, there are at least 3 key benefits of pursuing a strategy of social responsibility in the BPC market that make the effort worthwhile:
- Branding and reputation
While the social responsibility marketplace is increasingly crowded, showing concern to align company actions with environmental values and ethics is still a key distinctive factor. This makes sense, as taking the right steps and the SCR approach brings in more positive media attention, as well as a community of consumers on social media looking for eco-friendly brands to connect with. In fact, eco-friendly cosmetics have swiftly become market leaders in a short period of time.
- Increased sales
As a company’s reputation grows because of its SCR approach, so do other benefits of pursuing a strategy of social responsibility, such as increased sales. In fact, 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for products from more socially responsible companies, according to Interbrand.
- Comply with national and international regulations
As consumers’ demands for eco-friendly and ethical products grow, governments and international organizations are also responding. In fact, achieving sustainability might be virtually mandatory, as our ‘Meet the expert’ interview with Jordi Oliver revealed.
Provital put sustainability and social responsibility at the core of their operations. For Provital, this isn’t merely PR – as an organization, we believe we have the potential, capacity, and obligation to do so. By investing in local and international projects to build a fair and environmentally-friendly supply chain, the company actively supports sustainable and ethical practices, thus maximizing the benefits of pursuing a strategy of social responsibility. A prime example is the BioDeVaTe project with farmers in Vall del Tenes, just 50 km from their HQ in Barcelona. Provital has signed an agreement with these local producers to obtain organic, aromatic plants as totally traceable raw material for their actives.
One of these farmers is Pilar Comes, who opened her farm Parc de los Olors in 2017. Pilar and her team use small-batch, mixed cropping methods to grow local species organically. Using only artisanal, manual farming methods, Parc de los Olors prioritizes the promotion of high-quality, sustainably farmed local species. Currently, the farm supplies Provital with 11 organically-grown herbal species, including chamomile, thyme, rosemary, lavender, calendula, mugwort, and lemon balm.
Not only does Pilar’s work play a crucial role in creating an ecological supply chain for Provital’s products, but the farm also plays an important role in preserving and promoting the area’s traditional heritage. By organizing educational visits for school groups, Pilar and her team ensure that traditional knowledge about medicinal plants stays alive.
Today, consumers won’t buy into corporate responsibility projects that they perceive to be tokenistic. Instead, the conscious consumer wants to see that companies are implementing ethical practices at every point in their supply chain. As a customer and ethically-oriented producer of sustainable cosmetics, Provital recognizes the benefits of pursuing a strategy of social responsibility. Through projects like BioDeVaTe, Provital invests in and facilitates economically, environmentally and socially responsible practices. Further down the supply chain, Provital passes these benefits to cosmetics manufacturers, who can be confident that their actives play a role in their broader corporate responsibility aspirations – a holistic approach to CSR that the conscious consumer looks for.