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Gardening Grabs Share Of Mind: ScottsMiracle-Gro Leaders Talk Trends

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at October 1, 2021

Gardening creates opportunities for consumers trapped at home to feel better about themselves.

Since COVID, 21 million new gardeners have started acting on their desire to make the world a better place, according to Josh Peoples, Chief Marketing Officer at ScottsMiracle-Gro.  As consumers spend more time in and around their homes, Josh continued, “We have an opportunity to inspire new habits.”

When consumers become limited in the places they can go they put more of their energy into where they are: home. According to Barkley research, spending more time and money on home-related projects is increasingly common.  Further we know that younger generations aspire to own their own homes.

Consumers want affordable and accessible opportunities to add good to their lives and add beauty around their homes.  “Home” is a bigger part of consumers’ lives today than ever before.  Most consumers aren’t going to get into the deep science that Scotts uses to ensure products are effective.

To learn more about gardening trends I interviewed Jim King, EVP at ScottsMiracle-Gro.

Fromm: How has ScottsMiracle-Gro enabled people to live their purpose? 

King: The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company name is synonymous with America’s love for lawns and gardens. We have been living our purpose for decades, inviting people to join our brand and live it, too. Rooted in the core belief that good can grow anywhere, GroMoreGood™ articulates who we are and what we do. GroMoreGood is our promise to our communities, our planet, our consumers and our partners.

We’ve created a culture that enables all our employees to GroMoreGood in the world. Our culture and commitment to them sets our company apart. Every associate, and every job, is important to our success and to helping us live out our purpose. One way we support our employees in their efforts to give back to their communities is through our Give Back to Gro Associate Community Service program. We offer two paid days off per year for employees to volunteer in their local communities to plant community gardens, build houses, mentor students and beautify their communities. In 2020, this equaled more than 94,000 hours of service. 

How does ScottsMiracle-Gro live up to its purpose?

In our 153-year history, GroMoreGood is what we’ve always been about. There are many ways we live our purpose every day. Here are two that deserve highlighting. 

The pandemic has created disruption for millions of children and families across the country and has had a compounding effect on those already struggling with food insecurity and lack of access to fresh food and safe outdoor greenspaces. This year, we reached the halfway point of our commitment of connecting 10 million children to the benefits of gardening and outdoor play by 2023. We work with organizations like the National Head Start Association, No Kid Hungry and National Farm to School Network to help teach kids, families, schools and communities, how to grow their own fresh and healthy food based on their local needs.

We also launched the Hawthorne Social Justice Fund, investing $2.5 million in criminal justice reform and economic inclusion initiatives within the cannabis space. Our Hawthorne Gardening Company subsidiary is North America’s largest distributor of indoor growing and hydroponic products, serving growers of all sizes, and in the U.S., many of these growers cultivate cannabis. As reform advances across the country, we understand it has put at the forefront the critical need to confront the complex legacy of racial, social and economic inequality tied to cannabis. Through this fund, we started to take a hard look at where we could impact and help the efforts of others that are underway by dedicating grant dollars in support of organizations committed to addressing long-standing social injustice through advocacy for criminal justice reforms.

How do you integrate purpose into your business strategy?

When launching the GroMoreGood purpose, we knew it couldn’t be a corporate initiative, and it definitely couldn’t be a communications initiative. It had to be something that existed inside R&D, supply chain, HR, legal, and throughout the company. We knew that GroMoreGood would move the business forward and push us to think bigger and be better. If we didn’t have the support from all of our business units, it would just be another PR campaign.

Today, GroMoreGood guides every business decision and informs where we invest our energy. Through our 2021 ESG report, you can see the ways in which we live out our purpose to GroMoreGood everywhere by aligning our business practices in ways that are good for our planet, people and communities.

How does SMG balance purpose and profit?

Now, more than ever, having a clear and actionable purpose is a consumer and employee expectation. We know from research that employees want to work at businesses that are purpose-driven, and we know that consumers, especially those of younger generations, are more likely to buy from companies with a clearly defined purpose. You expect that the companies you do business with align with your own values. You expect companies to take a stand on societal issues. You expect companies to have a greater level of transparency. You expect companies to create positive change. You expect these things because that’s what a good company does. 

GroMoreGood allow us to connect more deeply with stakeholders across the business – simply by sharing and allowing more people to engage with our stories and the positive impact of our business.

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