Brands with a clear message on social responsibility outperform those that don't. Over 90% of CEOs believe that sustainability is fundamental for success and 88% of business school students believe that environmental and social concerns are a priority. The rise in start-ups actively tackling issues around environmental protection and sustainability have risen in the last decade to coincide with a change in consumer concern. But sustainability isn't just a value to attract a sustainably-minded consumer, it converts to an uplift in sales. 


Sustainability Sells:

68% of consumers prefer conscious brands, regardless of age. A conscious brand can be seen as an authentic one, a company with a purpose and one which makes clear what they do to combat socio-economic issues. The growing expectation for mindful shopping has promoted an increase in brands declaring their commitment to sustainability. 

86% of consumers desire for more companies to support environmental activism. Responding to this consumer concern, more brands are publishing their stance on sustainability. Brands' environmental and social-political ethics are a driving force for purchasing products. 64% of consumers are more likely to purchase from companies that stand for social issues and 66% would spend more on a product if it was produced by a sustainable brand. 

Millennials and Gen Z are leading the pack; 81% of millennials expect brands to declare their environmental and socio-political ethics. While Gen Z is willing to pay higher prices for food items that are eco-friendly and sustainable. 62% would pay more for locally produced food, 52% for organic and 39% for ethically produced products. 

If we delve into FMCG categories we start to see how this sustainability-minded demographic is leading the way in translating values into sales. From March 2017 to March 2018 chocolate positioned with environmental claims sold at a rate 5x faster than the overall market. As with chocolate, we can see significant growth in coffee with environmental claims. From March 2017 to March 2018 coffee products with environmental claims boasted 25% dollar growth. These trends are not mutually exclusive to the 2017-2018 year. If we consider sales further back the same conclusion is made apparent, products with sustainability claims sell greater than those without. 



Transparency around your brand's environmental consciousness is key to attracting an audience. The data shows how sustainability can be a successful part of your brand's message, but only if it is true. Consumers are more astute than ever, they aren't afraid to call out a brand on social media for false or misleading claims. Claims that a brand is greener than it is are called ‘greenwashing’ and it is a guaranteed way to find yourself on the receiving end of a media backlash. 



What is clear from the data is that sustainability sells. But sustainability isn't just a trend, it is a requirement to provide a cleaner, greener Earth. Capitalising on such a key topic, without taking the right steps to analyse and alter your brand's environmental impact is never a good idea. 


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