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When It Comes To Sustainability, Companies Should Not Cater Blindly To Consumers

August 18, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
A former sustainability expert at Coca-Cola said recently that while companies should try to accommodate customer preferences, that accommodation should not mean compromising sustainability goals. This position contradicts what Coca-Cola’s chief sustainability officer Beatriz Perez told a recent business forum: Coca-Cola “won’t be in business if we don’t accommodate customers” who, for example, might stop drinking Coke if it no longer came in single-use plastic bottles. But, according to Dan Vermeer of Duke University, influential brands such as Coca-Cola are ideally positioned to drive shifts in consumer preferences, pushing even plastic-seeking customers to more sustainable choices. “Brands can lead customers to different choices … [by] limiting available options to more sustainable choices to shift the mainstream away from environmentally or socially damaging products.”[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
Fuqua School of Business, "Brands can and should lead consumers towards sustainability", Forbesindia.com, August 18, 2020, © Forbesindia.com
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