One of my favorite conversation topics is “how do we reach people who don’t care about sustainability?” For some reason, I’ve often discussed this in the context of hunters and gun owners. To my surprise, someone who could speak very intelligently on this subject presented at the 2011 Net Impact Conference.
Adam Morehead runs Legion Firearms in Temple, Texas. While you won’t see explicit mention of sustainability on the website, Morehead has baked it into his business. For example, lubrication is a major component of gun care and lubricants are conventionally petroleum-based. Morehead worked with a company to develop Anywear, a bio-lubricant that’s fully biodegradable within 28 days. But that’s not the main selling point. What is? It’s simply a better performing lubricant.
Legion’s products are sourced in the US. The American-made aspect should resonate with Legion’s customers, yet there’s still no mention of this on the website. Legion even uses carbon neutral packaging but chooses not to advertise this on the physical package. It’s not that Morehead doesn’t want to talk about these things, it’s that his customers don’t want to hear them…yet.
Morehead cited that the US Military is engaging in sustainability efforts and he sees this as a way to start the conversation with his customers but not until the time is right. Until then, instead of saying “we’re greening our supply chain” Legion will talk about how they’re “driving efficiency so we can bring the price down for our customers.”
What’s interesting is that, like most of us, Morehead longs for the day when we don’t have to talk about sustainability because it’s just business as usual. Essentially, that’s how he’s operating now, but he has the potential to influence a group of people who aren’t members of the proverbial choir so he’s actually in a position where he should speak up. But he’s correct to wait until the time is right. I, for one, can’t wait to see what he has to say when that time comes. (And I sincerely hope that writing this article hasn’t thrown a wrench in his strategy!)
Ali Hart is a sustainable communications and engagement strategist with a passion for life’s essentials: food, water and storytelling. Her background in the Entertainment industry, penchant for humor and MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School are Ali’s secret weapons in her quest to master the art of behavior change and to make sustainability inconveniently fun.