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How Consumers Are Driving Sustainability – And How Your Company Can Respond
These days, it is commonplace to see companies and facilities espousing their sustainability. Airports put up banners advertising how they are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Clothing companies, water bottle brands, and grocery delivery services emphasize how their products are made with recycled materials or reduce food waste.
Why the laser focus on sustainability? There are two main reasons: First, the need to change corporate habits to save the planet from the worst effects of climate change. Second, studies show it’s obvious that this is what consumers want. In this article, we will explore just how consumers are driving sustainability – and how your organization can respond.
The Consumer Interest in Sustainability
Last year, a major study of over 10,000 people across 17 countries showed that sustainability is becoming increasingly important to consumers. The Global Sustainability Study 2021, conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners, revealed that more than a one third of the population is willing to pay more for sustainable products or services, and those willing to pay more would accept a 25 percent premium on average. The study also found that globally, sustainability is rated as an important purchase criterion for 60 percent of consumers. In the US, this number is 61 percent. Finally, and most important for companies to note, the study found that the younger generation is much more invested in sustainability than the older generation, meaning that the importance of sustainability won’t be fading anytime soon.
Other reports have had similar findings. A 2021 global report from The Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by WWF, found that in the past five years, there has been an impressive 71 percent rise in online searches for sustainable goods. A survey from McKinsey & Co. found that 66 percent of all respondents and 75 percent of millennial respondents say that they consider sustainability when making a purchase. Researchers at Accenture found that 72 percent of respondents reported that they were actively buying more sustainable products than they did five years ago, while 81 percent said they expected to buy even more over the next five years.
With consumer interest so strong – and only continuing to grow – companies have responded by ramping up their sustainability efforts and initiatives. How can your company follow suit?
6 Ways to Increase (and Promote!) Your Company’s Sustainability
- Create a sustainability roadmap – Using your company’s energy and sustainability data, you can create a plan to become more sustainable. This involves analyzing your data to determine what energy efficiency projects, net zero initiatives, renewable energy procurement strategies, and ESG and sustainability reporting you should take part in.
- Track your organization’s Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions – Emissions reduction is a key part of becoming more sustainable. Tracking your emissions across your organization’s supply chain allows you to determine where reductions can be made – and determine the efficacy of reduction efforts.
- Create a net zero plan – Like a sustainability roadmap, but specifically for net zero, a net zero plan will allow you to determine what actions your company needs to take to achieve carbon neutral. (See also our top eight tips for organizations just starting their net zero journey).
- Become a certified B Corp – A great way to demonstrate your company’s sustainability to consumers is to get B Corp certified. Companies that B Corp Certified can note this accomplishment on their product packaging and website for the public to see. Getting B Corp certified involves taking and passing the B Impact Assessment. Click here to discover how your company can do this.
- Get involved with sustainability and ESG reporting – Sustainability and ESG reporting allows your company to do several things. First: You can use the different frameworks and benchmarking standards to see where your company stands in relation to national standards and other organizations. Second: Participating in reporting allows you to broadcast your sustainability efforts to the public as well as investors.
- Market your sustainability efforts – Once your company has achieved – or is working toward – sustainability, it is essential that you let consumers and investors know with effective marketing efforts like videos, social media posts, press releases, and more.
How WatchWire Can Help Your Company Become More Sustainable
WatchWire is an integrated energy and sustainability management platform that can:
- Assist your company with renewable energy procurement
- Measure and verify all your energy use and emissions reductions efforts
- Calculate, track, and reduce your company’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
- Integrate with most sustainability reporting frameworks for seamless reporting
- Help your company receive B Corp certification
- Organize, audit, and analyze all your utility, energy, and sustainability data so you can make informed decisions about which initiatives to implement
- Provide you with graphs and charts of your energy and sustainability performance which you can easily share in your marketing initiatives
To discover more about WatchWire and its capabilities, you can visit our website, blog, or resource library, request a demo, or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter to keep up-to-date on the latest energy and sustainability insights, news, and resources.
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