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“Sustainability Sells” What is the best business claim to embrace Sustainability?

By: Sandra Pedro, CMMP — Editor-in-Chief
Sustainability Sells! This is the conclusion of Nielsen´s report What´s Sustainability got to do with it? which connects sustainability to increasing sales.

It’s a claim that I have been advocating for several years. Not only because we, Human Beings, need to work towards sustainable development, but also because consumers prioritize sustainable options because they are more aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions on environmental and resource exploitation. Acknowledging consumer sentiment, sales, growth, distribution and more, is essential to growth.

According to Nielsen´s latest report, sales of items with sustainability claims, such as environmental claims (carbon neutral, ethically sourced, made with renewable energy, etc.), organic ingredients or fair trade products, in the

analysed categories, chocolate, coffee and bath products, grew faster than the total category.

It´s well known that consumers reward companies who listen and respond to their needs and desires, and that advocate for the same values and practices as they do. They have the power to promote, critique and recommend the products and services they choose to consume. Which means increasing sales and business growth.

There is no doubt that sustainability has evolved from a trend into a necessary business opportunity. In our digital and social media age, transparency and authenticity are crucial and companies need to show that sustainability is a key part of their business strategy from beginning to end.

However, are satisfying consumers’ needs and desires the only valid arguments for sustainability to be part of the business? Or should companies have a more holistic approach to their business and instead embrace sustainability for the future everyone? Are consumers really aware of the implications of their consumption practices on sustainability or do they buy products that claim to be sustainable because it is trendy or fashionable?

Sustainability is about connectivity of people, the economy and the environment. One does not exist without the other. For example, nowadays, we consume more than the planet can replace in natural resources. Global population growth and climate changes are pressuring food security, growing populations and increasing conflicts. The exploitation of natural resources is devastating vast forest areas, increasing pressure on climate change and endangering wildlife, leading to the extinction of thousand of species.

In summary, businesses need natural resources and people to work and to consume. People need natural resources and jobs. Overall, we all need to work for Sustainable Development. Both consumers and businesses are a big part of that picture. Working together is possible to reduce pollution, to use cleaner technologies to enhance food security, to increase mobility, to increase access to sanitation and clean water, for better health and education, and so on…

Let us all work together to create a better business, a better environment and better people.
Back to Newsletter – December 2018