While being ethical can raise the prices of a company’s products, Ainsworth and Lucraft said that customers are accepting of this. “We realised that our customers are hugely planet conscious, and that they didn't mind paying a little bit more,” said Ainsworth.
Lucraft agreed. “Our products are priced at the high end. However, we do counteract that by giving a lot of products away,” she added, highlighting its donations to developing countries and to the NHS.
Even if your business does not have great green credentials, the panellists agreed that it’s never too late to become more sustainable.
“It can start with just small changes and the acknowledgement of being dedicated to bettering your business,” said Ainsworth. “You don't have to make all the changes straight away.”
Ritchie agreed that the focus could be on “turning the dial” rather than making overnight changes. “There are lots of different steps that you can take; begin with the easy ones and then maybe move to the more complex ones,” she said.
Shorrock emphasised how customer demand for businesses with good ecological credentials is increasing. “As businesses we have a responsibility,” she said. “There's legislation that's backing it up, and the customers really want it, so if you want to provide a service, and be a part of the supply chain, you have to be involved in this.”
Ritchie agreed. “If you don't get on board and make these changes, you're going to get left behind by consumers who are increasingly committed to sustainability,” she warned. "There's also a massive moral imperative; we want to be on the right side of history.”
Watch the session on Climate and Sustainability: