Executive Breakfast: China’s Sustainability Consumers

For many firms who have invested significant time and resources into developing products where sustainable attributes are central to the offering, or have launched entirely new business units meant to deliver a sustainable solution, the market has proven difficult.

Time and time again, consumers and stakeholders alike, will indicate a preference for supporting brands who are “more sustainable”, and claim they will pay premiums for “sustainable products”, but many of those same consumers will continue to make ultimately chose to continue purchasing “the other brands” for cost and convenience.

To help participants understand the tools and tactics required to overcome these barriers, and to build a successful brand, we hosted the Executive Breakfast to bring executives to gain deeper insights into the mindset of the Chinese “sustainable” consumers and learn some of the tools and strategies that others have leveraged to engage and convert them.

Dr. Lv Zhi

To start off the series, we invited Dr. Lv Zhi, Vice President of R&D for Inoherb Cosmetics(Inoherb), to speak to 20 executives from the food & agriculture, investment, and consumer products industries about Inoherb’s approach to developing, and selling, products where sustainability is at the core.

An entrepreneur led organization, the shift towards sustainability came when the founder visited a key supplier and was shocked by the process of extracting silk from silkworms. Empathizing with the worms themselves, she made an immediate decision to halt production and challenged her R&D team to develop a synthetic product. A product that would not involve harming animals, or the environment.

Dr. Lv Zhi and Richard Brubaker

It was a first step, that has led to many others. One of which was to invest into a program where the native habitat of a rare herb, Rhodiola, was protected. It was a program that initially failed, but instead of writing off the cost of the program, the founder decided to double down. To work with the community to develop better practices, and education program, which yielded higher results and has served as the foundation for the program’s expansion.

Q&A session between Dr.Lv Zhi and audiences

With the goal of our event platform to not only drive awareness of key social and environmental challenges to existing economic and business models, but to help build the business case for sustainability, we would like to thank our speaker for helping to inspire, engage, and equip participants to take their own steps forward.

Next month, we will speak about urban resilience and adaptation, highlighting the work of some amazing urban planners, brands and entrepreneurs, and we hope that you will join us for another engaging series!

Please feel free to send an email to [email protected] if you have any ideas/questions to share, or if you want to participate in the next round’s event. We look forward to seeing you all!

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