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As we grappled with the bushfire emergency; was sustainability the antidote to our collective helplessness?
The summer that set our country and our hearts on fire ignited a monumental shift in consumer behaviour

Even though the smoke has dissipated and COVID-19 is instead infiltrating our airways, the bushfires are far from a distant memory. Their impact was equally devastating and widespread. The silver lining: a movement towards positive social and environmental change and in particular – sustainability.

Against a backdrop of a burning backyard, the stage was set for business to align their strategy and operations with that of the conscious consumer. Businesses have the unique privilege of enabling individuals, who may feel like their sole input won’t have a profound impact, to be a part of something bigger. 

The response to the bushfires was a testament to the positive impact brands can have when they’re desire to help the communities within which they exist is underpinned by a desire to help. Not to profit. 

Beyond helping those affected, the bushfire crisis afforded brands the opportunity to assess what their long term corporate social responsibility could look like. Things like environmentally friendly packaging, transparency when it comes to the supply chain and manufacturing process and a commitment to quality, lasting goods are increasingly driving consumer loyalty. 

In the face of collective adversity then, against the fires and now, as we navigate the unchartered territory brought about by COVID-19 – an authentic commitment to social good is critical to both customer loyalty and brand longevity. Businesses must weave short term compassion and long term sustainability into business as usual. At the core of it all, business must prioritise purpose over profit.

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