New study shows environmental sustainability is becoming increasingly critical for all businesses across all categories.
Eight out of 10 Australian consumers expect all businesses to be doing everything they can to support environmental sustainability and four in 10 say they’ll stop purchasing from brands that don’t.
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Nature and The Lab have released their second investigation into environmental sustainability to support businesses with the complexities of ESG as well as provide actionable recommendations for more effective sustainability communication strategies.
The 2022 study surveyed more than 2,000 people and reveals that as the sustainability landscape evolves, consumers are both increasingly demanding and confused.
Perhaps the biggest surprise when comparing this year’s data to the initial 2019 report is in the categories in which consumers expect brands to be leading the way. Three years ago, sustainability was limited to fast-moving consumer goods and packaging, whereas now we see this expectation extend into services like electricity and gas.
The report highlights the clear expectation for businesses to be doing more for the environment, with 73 per cent of people surveyed saying that they believe all businesses need to be doing everything they can to be environmentally friendly, while 48 per cent of people under 30 said they will stop using a business if it is not acting sustainably (39 per cent across all people).
In addition to sustainability actions, the communication planning around sustainability claims is flagged as crucial in the design of successful campaigns. Communication barriers include scepticism and confusion, with 72 per cent indicating that they don’t believe a brand’s sustainability claims are accurate and 56 per cent of people saying they found claims made by businesses to be confusing.
Exploring what makes a successful sustainability communications campaign, the investigation suggests companies need to clearly link their sustainability message to their brand and consistently invest in it over a longer period to have a positive impact and pay dividends to position the brand as a leader in the space.
Brands that aren’t already known in the sustainability space can also have an impact by integrating sustainability claims into their packaging and existing branding. Sustainability communications can be expressed in an upbeat tone if the message is future-focused, believable, and encouraging.
The self-funded study covers five tactical methods on how brands can effectively communicate their sustainable impact to consumers.
The report was designed by Nature in partnership with The Lab to strengthen corporate, social, and environmental commitment in Australia and assist in its implementation.
To navigate this changing environment, businesses need to know how to properly communicate about sustainability with consumers.
See a snapshot of the report: Sustainability Insights Series - Report Snapshot.
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