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B2B insights

Four steps to responsible growth

As businesses, we have the power to create a healthier planet, flourishing communities and thriving economies. In the world of B2B, we’re in a unique position – to run our own businesses ethically and sustainably and empower our customers and partners to do the same. But it’s far from easy – and it won’t happen by accident.

All types of businesses, large or small, B2C, B2B are faced with increasing challenges that are making the pursuit of profitable growth increasingly difficult.

Naturally, businesses want to grow and drive societal prosperity, so it makes sense that we should strive to connect the two. By embedding and living the principles behind the legislation and social expectations, we can unlock the value of ESG as a key differentiator in the customer experience.

Good practice brings together ‘inclusion, sustainability and ethics’ as the basis for growth opportunities that are attractive for employees and externally with customers and suppliers.

Embedding this growth will take time and must take place across the business. We refer to this as a RISE for Growth framework, and there are four steps to achieving this new type of growth.

Shifting to an ESG mindset 

              A business seeking new avenues of growth should adopt an ESG mindset – ensuring their brand and ways of working are grounded in environmental, social and governance considerations. 

              A business mindset that prioritizes ESG can create an environment that empowers its people and other businesses, by making this a priority in its wider supply chain. Deloitte’s latest Sustainable Consumer Report indicates that consumers want to shop more sustainably, with close to one in three (30%) saying they have stopped purchasing certain brands or products because of ethical or sustainability-related concerns. So, empowering consumers in this way is likely to provide businesses with an opportunity to grow.

              Customer loyalty and relevance can also help to create growth. For example, a company that innovates its packaging to make it more accessible, with easy to open packages or adjustments for those with sight impairments may find they open the door to new consumers. 

              Break down data silos 

                In 2024, in-depth customer-related data is a vital tool for any business leader who wants to grow their customer base and profits. 

                Using this data to support customers on issues that matter to them can help to differentiate a brand. Data also allows for more inclusive and tailored targeting. Understanding more about a customer, based on information they are happy to share, and sharing suggestions that genuinely resonate can help to create a higher level of loyalty and support for responsible products and services. 


                  As clichéd as it may sound, two heads are better than one.  

                  Putting energy into building the right co-creation opportunities with people from a range of businesses and backgrounds can have the benefit of broadening a business’ perspective, while also connecting with new customer bases.

                  Collaborating with talented people that can help a business see itself from a different angle can make the most of the business’ potential to create value.  

                  There are new and emerging supply chain marketplaces that are a great example of this; connecting businesses with diverse and eco-conscious companies to support them in their efforts to become more diverse and create more sustainable supply chains.

                  Live your purpose

                    Purpose has become a high priority topic across businesses and C-suites. While a clear purpose is essential, it’s now equally important that customers can be authentic to a brand’s purpose and connect it to the product or service on offer. 

                    In an age of choice, businesses are increasingly seeking customer loyalty to boost growth. By improving brand reputation through a clear purpose, which is communicated effectively to customers, businesses can unlock new growth. For example, a responsible business that provides the data behind its carbon use can increase its market share – as more businesses must consider the company they keep and the impact to their own Scope 3 emissions.

                    As important as purpose is, it’s also imperative that businesses avoid the greenwashing trap by ensuring comms are in line with brand permission, and sustainability messaging can be backed up by the business. Essentially, actions and words need to speak at the same volume.

                    Brand value will be improved, and equity will too, if a business can change authentically from the inside out.

                    Better growth isn’t about perfection, but intention. Bringing these steps together creates an impact that is even more than the sum of its already valuable parts. 

                    Growing better business requires us to work together so that innovation drives improved outcomes for all, not just some. Alongside ever-changing demands for businesses, growth will always remain at the core of any business model. It’s how this growth is achieved that will make the biggest impact.

                    There’s no limit to the value we can add when we create a new status quo, and responsible growth can be a catalyst to making the necessary changes.

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