EP75 – Technology to Prove Your Sustainability Claims with Jessi Baker


EP75 – Technology to Prove Your Sustainability Claims with Jessi Baker

Sustainable Ecommerce Episode 75

It’s becoming increasingly vital to PROVE your sustainability claims.  

Yes, part of that is to do with increasing levels of regulation around what you can and can’t say.  But when it comes to growing your brand, the part that often gets overlooked is providing proof, in trustworthy, credible and consistent ways, to your potential consumers.

We’ve had a couple of technology based solutions on the show in the past, including Austin Simms from Dayrize back in episode 11, and Akhil Sivanandan from Greenstory in episode 27. Both are great solutions, but to date mostly focused on supporting the fashion and textiles supply chain due to the huge life cycle data sets available.

But I recently came across another incredible platform that I wanted to share with you on today’s show. Instead of generating transparency for fashion brands, this one is focused on supporting the credibility of thousands of brands in the personal care, cosmetics and home cleaning spaces.

So my guest today is Jessi Baker, MBE, founder of Provenance, a UK-based technology platform bringing blockchain level transparency to sustainability marketing.

For so many reasons I think this might be one of the most important episodes we’ve ever done on this show. My gut feel is that 2023 marks an epoch change in sustainability marketing, from the wild west where you can say anything you want, to a more professional era underpinned by regulation and much more enlightened, cynical and educated consumerism.  

Proving what you’re doing with certifications is just one thing.  You need to be able to surface that up in a consistent, compliant, recognisable and trustworthy way across all your channels and all your geographies. That becomes an ever more daunting prospect as you grow, and one where tools like Provenance offer the next generation in marketing support.

Top Takeouts

  1. Firstly, when you’re making sustainability claims, there are so many facets to consider.  Not just wording and imagery, but also consistency of language between channels, and even between geographies.  That is rapidly becoming an increasingly complex landscape to manage and one where tools like Provenance can really help.
  2. Claims that you make need to have credibility in the eyes of shoppers.  Now that’s partly supported by recognisability.  Everyone knows marks like the Leaping Bunny and the rainforest alliance, delivering credibility to products and brands that showcase them. But the reality is that recognisable marks cover a tiny percentage of the products available today, and we need systems like Provence to gain momentum and recognisability in the eyes of consumers to solve this problem. With thousands of brands already on their platform in the UK, Provenance are will placed to build recognition globally.
  3. Credibility is also about transparency, which gives the confidence that claims you make can be trusted.  That’s exactly the sort of problem blockchain was invented to solve.  We saw the technology in use by Plastic Bank back in episode 52, and I was excited to hear Jessi talk about it again today, as the backbone of their trust infrastructure, not to mention the independent transparency council they have in place.  

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