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“Our top priority is our customers”

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I just heard an ad where the last line was something like “In these trying times, our top priority is our customers.” I immediately thought: “…Bullshit.”

Profits are the top priority for the vast majority of companies. They care about little else. They will trample over their customers if they have to.

But my next reaction was strangely one of reassurance. It dawned on me that building a new economy might not be as daunting and complex as it seems. Most of the core principles we already know. We hear them everyday in companies’s marketing: People over profits. Long-term over short-term. Generative over extractive.

Building a sustainable and equitable economy doesn’t require that we completely remake ourselves from the ground up. It mostly requires that businesses and institutions just live by the values they already claim to live by.

Will you help hold them to their word? How?


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Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

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