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Little Find

Yes, you can make sustainable business affordable

Along with sustainable products and services often come additional costs, above those of a standard product. Yet neither you nor the consumer want to pay a “green premium.” The solution is to rethink the price mechanism entirely by asking three basic questions.

#1 What are customers paying for?  

Offer results (desired by the customer) rather than products. For example, rather than selling garments, fashion retailers can think in terms of clothing people – which opens the door to a more sustainable, complete service including tailoring, repair and recycling, or clothing rental.  

#2 Who is going to pay?  

In a sector where universal access is the target, perhaps it doesn’t make sense for all customers to pay the same price, or even to pay at all. Health insurance costs could be based on the total patient population, rather than on a standard per-treatment scheme, in order to distribute the benefits (and costs).    

#3 When and how are payments made? 

To better align the timing of costs (immediate) and benefits (long term), shift to subscription or pay-as-you-go models instead of making consumers pay a large upfront investment (for solar panels, for example).  

To go further

“Can We Afford Sustainable Business?”

Marco Bertini, John Pineda, Amadeus Petzke and Jean-Manuel Izaret, (MIT Sloan Management Review, 8 september 2021). 

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Andrea Davoust
Published by Andrea Davoust
A French/English bilingual journalist with more than 15 years’ experience in the press, multimedia, and publishing.