Using the wisdom of the crowd to build a sustainability confidence score - with Adam Williams, Founder - Wherefrom

Published on: 14th July, 2022

“If we chase perfection… we’ll lose.” 

Amongst the 455 (and some) eco labels and sparkling greenwash, how’s a person to figure out which products and brands they can truly have confidence in when wanting to make more sustainable and ethical choices in their shopping trolleys?  What can we trust? What can we understand?

When rushing round the supermarket aisles are we realistically going to scan QR codes and visit websites for the latest carbon calculations? Unlikely…

In this podcast we find out more about the innovative tech start-up ‘Wherefrom’ - where Adam Williams, Founder, tells us about their mission to ensure every product and company in the world has a ‘Wherefrom Score’. They’re the world’s first crowd-sourced sustainability review platform, comparing any company or product on a single scale.  

Likened to Trip Advisor, the platform enables people to score and review products and connect directly with brands – it also enables brands to claim their profile and provides opportunity for them to share sustainability credentials and respond and engage with reviewers directly and transparently. As a by-product, the platform provides useful data and insights for brands around consumer opinion which can help to inform the development of sustainability strategies.

Adam shares the back story of how Wherefrom came to be and how what started as a passion project has quickly transitioned into a scalable and useful resource that is adding value at the point of purchase for people. We talk about the practicalities of how the Wherefrom score works, the rigour and the responsibility.

What’s important for Wherefrom is ‘cross-over’ appeal – because to effect scale and wider impact, we need to extend far beyond the sustainability minded echo-chambers to help reach the majority of shoppers – to educate, get them rethinking and making better more informed choices.  

As we discussed with Helen Hepworth in a previous pod, the supermarkets, as gatekeepers,  also have a significant role to play in influencing better choices – and we discuss again, the need for the need for them to be more selective and responsible about what they stock.

We also cover the important role of finance and investment – and how investors need to move away from outmoded ways of assessing where to invest – and to invest more widely in the small, innovative, impact driven start-ups – to enable a sea-change in the number of social impact businesses moving from start-up to scale-up – and making a real difference to what business looks like and what it gives back to society.  

Visit Wherefrom.org – and you’ll be hit at every level with their ethos of, as Adam puts it… ‘doing sustainability with a big fat smile’. We found Wherefrom the day they ‘broke the internet’ with people sharing their hilarious (and brain worm inducing), ‘Stop the Wash’ music video – singing out the plethora of greenwash taglines, advising brands that given those lines were now part of their ‘song’, if used they would sue for copyright! ;) [if you missed it – it’s here]. And whilst there’s a lot of humour, fun, and mockery to be had to keep things light, interesting and of course, to aide mass appeal – the fun doesn’t detract from the serious mission they’re on, bringing the customer back into sustainability strategy and progress the behaviour change they’re pursuing and the heartfelt reminder to us all of the role we play and the choices we make.  

Tune in… and listen to Adam’s answer to our final ‘quick round’ question – and you’ll know what we’re talking about.

For more information about Wherefrom visit https://wherefrom.org/

Our podcasts are recorded purely via online conferencing platforms, we apologise for any minor sound quality issues.

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About the Podcast

The Marketing Society podcast
The Marketing Society is a progressive global community of senior marketers. Our purpose is to empower our members to be brave leaders. Since 1959, we have grown into an influential network of 2500 members.
The Marketing Society is a progressive global community of senior marketers. Our purpose is to empower our members to be brave leaders. Since 1959, we have grown into an influential network of more than 2650+ members across our global hubs: London, Scotland, Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE and New York. Our members are mostly senior clients (over seventy per cent) from brands such as ASOS, Barclays, IBM, Disney, HSBC, Mars, Samsung, Unilever and Vodafone.

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