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Sir Martin: Businesses Should Promote Sustainability Because That’s What People Like

BigThink interviewed Sir Martin Sorrell, asking him about WPP’s outlook on sustainability and its evolution. Using his usual indirect directness, Sorrell explained that it’s just good business to do good things. Refreshing answer, especially considering this was an easy opportunity for him to say, “well, it’s just the right thing to do” which would have been false. Businesses do things that are good for business &#151 that’s why they’re not called non-profits. Why are good things good for business?

“We know from all the data we get from the companies like Millwood Brown and Research International and TNS, our research companies, that consumers admire and respect companies that invest in these areas &#151 that respect these areas. And we also know that people coming out of universities or art schools or design schools or thinking about switching from one company to another in our industry or adjoining industry, or even thinking about doing other thing within our own company, they’re held and attracted by commitment to these areas. If you’re in business for the long-term, this is something that you should do because it’s good business.”

He goes on to explain that sustainability is part of the business model now and that operating under that MO helps improve a company’s social status. Well, he forgot to mention that’s only true to the extent of WPP’s PR team’s ability to convince the press they’re “doing good”.

More:If WPP Ran a Strip Club…

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