The key to creating a truly sustainable business
Chairman, Pico Group

Recent research by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council has shown that environmental, social and governance (ESG) are now key considerations for consumers when selecting a product. Over 40 percent of respondents are increasingly aware of ESG issues compared to two years ago, particularly in terms of environmental impact and carbon footprints.

Nevertheless, even when companies do ‘go green’, many still presume that sustainability equals high costs and low profits. In reality, it needn’t mean taking a dive into red ink; by thinking outside the box, brands can devise approaches that are both sustainable and efficient.

For example, sustainability was a major theme at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Accordingly, the Pico-activated HP Antarctic Dome – one of the event’s landmark features – utilised innovative digital technology to create a 360-degree multisensory journey combining music and a sustainability message. The Dome drew more than 80,000 visitors during the festival.

Notably, the Dome’s entire digital journey was also minted into a 1:1 NFT art piece and auctioned on the Solana block chain, with all proceeds going to the Arbor Day Foundation. Overall, the Dome and its contents not only helped HP make tangible positive contribution to the environment, but also brought it into the metaverse, establishing the brand’s place on the social and technological cutting edge.

The pandemic accelerated many brands’ move away from sole reliance on physical events, with an increasing number at least dabbling in digital events or even the metaverse. This not only provides a brand new experience for their audiences, but also reduces face-to-face interaction and the waste generated by physical events.

For example, the MTR Corporation in Hong Kong have purchased a piece of land on The Sandbox virtual platform for establishing virtual railroads and stations. Also worth mentioning is Facebook’s FB4Fans virtual experience platform activated by Pico, where an array of exclusive online AR content and games aim to unite creators and their fans in the Asia Pacific area with an immersive experience that merges virtual and reality.

To cater to ever-changing market preferences during and after the pandemic, corporations must avoid simply sleepwalking down the beaten path. The key to a truly sustainable business is to adopt green practices without sacrificing business performance.

The full insights article was originally published in Headline Finance on 6 July 2022 (in Chinese only).

Source: Headline Finance (webpage version), 6 July 2022