Realities of climate change push big businesses to focus on sustainability; it’s the new digital

By April 23, 2021 No Comments

A consensus appears to be taking root in Corporate America… what’s good for the environment can also be good for business.

Big businesses have been amplifying their sustainability initiatives and making trillion-dollar pledges to fight climate change. Meanwhile, consumers are increasingly concerned about business’ carbon footprints, and companies are feeling the pressure and urgency to act.

  • JPMorgan Chase said it would finance or facilitate investments of $2.5 trillion over 10 years to support initiatives that focus on combating climate change and enhancing sustainable development. 
  • A new Google Earth feature gives viewers a sobering look at how much climate change and human behavior have damaged the planet during the past four decades. 
  • Mastercard created a calculator that measures consumers’ carbon footprints based on what they purchase. 

• Nike is asking customers to bring in sneakers that are gently worn or have manufacturing flaws. After cleaning and sanitizing the shoes, the company plans to resell them at select stores at a reduced price.

Sustainability is the new digital

With 79% of consumers changing purchase preference based on products’ social or environmental impact, marketers are racing to capitalize with sustainability messaging, according to Forbes. 

Here are a few practical considerations:

Build your messaging on facts and proof: It might be tempting to “polish” the story of your environmental impact with exaggerated claims or even unofficial “green” logos on your packaging. To make sure your messaging is fact-based and evidenced, you’ll need to connect with your sustainability team to understand the reality of your supply chain impact.

Don’t wait for perfection: Brand marketers are used to crafting perfectly optimized creative campaigns. They might be reluctant to bring attention to an imperfect supply chain. To be a climate leader, you need to set an example that others can follow, and that means communicating your journey with humility. 

Sustainability-linked consumer products can grow nearly six times faster than others. But there are short-term gains to be had from sustainability-led marketing, measuring success purely on immediate revenue would be a disservice.

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