It’s another new year, another new you, right? The gyms, roads and trails are filled with people who have made the resolution to be better than their better was in 2011, that 2012 is the year where they are taking their lives to a new level.
In 2011 I witnessed a boom in the fitness industry. Never before have I seen so many people out on the roads, running the trails of Cape Town and pushing their boundaries. As part of the recession, which is a really real thing, people have had to find ways of fight or flight for their stress levels and in 2011 it seemed the fight was on, by taking the stress with you onto the roads and returning home a more peaceful human being once you had to interact with family and loved ones.
In 2012, I believe we are going to see the same people taking more control of their lives, including the environment they live in. As we have less and less control over our jobs in corporate environments, we are yearning for the ability to control and what better way than taking health as the new wealth.
Business has undoubtedly picked up on and this and the smart money have gone into sports where you get more bang for your buck. Mountain biking and multi-sport events are perfect for Corporate Sponsors who get Type A personalities with disposable income to be a part of the brand experience at a minimal cost in comparison to Rugby, Football or Golf.
When you consider the impact that a race like the Sani2c has on the communities, the riders and the environment, it’s a no-brainer for a brand like BoE Private Clients to be the primary sponsor for the event. Sani2c has a huge influence on the communities it passes through, donating millions of rands and effecting positive change on every kilometre it covers. It influences the riders, all 3600 of them over 3 weekends as they push their limits and redefine what their bodies known as “impossible”.
Sani2c plants hundreds of trees along the route, indigenous, important trees that form a part of the vision for a sustainable race. Farmer Glen (Haw), who founded the race, is an amazing human, a great businessman and someone who cares for the environment immensely. It’s no wonder BoE Private Clients want to work with him.
Caring for the planet is not just a fuzzy feel good thing any longer. Total investment in renewable energy reached $211 billion in 2010. That is big business. On a small scale, it goes all the way down to people like my partner for Wines 2 Whales, who incidentally donated R10 000 worth of trees to our Pure Planet Racing concept, whose wife recycles everything they consume, down to the worm farm they have. Their need to a standard black bin outside the house once a week has virtually disappeared. In 2010 I reduced my refuse by 90% and if I had the space to have a worm farm for the natural waste, I could get it down to 100%.
I like working with companies with this sort of vision. Puma, a sponsor of mine, are carbon neutral. So are Nedbank, who own BoE Private Clients. They are big business companies who truly care about the environment and they are not alone. There are hundreds like them. They have huge lifestyle elements to their stringent business principles. Because they care, and because it’s genuine, clients are more interested to leave their money in their banks or invest their money in a set of shoes that come in a bag, rather than a box, which is made of recycled material.
In 2012 the trend will continue and simply, it will grow. As cash flows become tighter and options seem to keep growing, people are going to associate with companies who care, who they can relate to and people are able to relate to kindness. Kindness in any form is infectious and when the consumer feels a brand is being kind to them and cares about their daily enjoyment of this incredible thing called Life, investing in those brands with our time, money and knowledge comes without hesitation.
So when I say that Health is the new Wealth, I extend the term to environmental health as well as physical health. A happy home/environment where you feel your best is possibly where you are recycling, where you consider ordering decent organic food and grass fed beef from a local butcher who you trust. It’s where the new person training focused; small gym instructor knows your name and truly gives a damn about your health.
As this surge of small, bespoke, artisan brands comes through, the corporates will catch up and invest the big money into offering the same service. They simply have to. No choice here.
Then we extend the concept to within the corporates, where wellness programs covering physical, environmental, as well as spiritual health are growing and making a difference to the overall corporate performance. Having access to a gym, healthy food bar and a psychologist (not a bad word!) means you can work harder, smarter and a work force of motivated people who work in an environment where they are encouraged to recycle, reduce and reuse means better salaries, which in turn gets taken home, where there again, it more happiness.
It’s a simple cycle and right now, in our current financial situation, as One World, it’s simply not optional.
Raoul de Jongh is the founder of Pure Planet Racing & author of award winning blog – urbanninja
Pure Planet Racing is a small group of elite multisport athletes who are creating a synergy between sporting excellence and social conscience. Pure Planet is a start-up initiative by some inspired young people that aim to raise awareness around environmental impact and reduce the carbon footprint of every person on the earth. As a partner, Pure Planet Racing will become one of the first sporting teams to have a zero carbon impact, essentially racing around the world and raising awareness for their cause without leaving a carbon footprint.