Empower Consumers to Make the Sustainable Choice
The numbers speak for themselves. People are ready to change their behaviour to help reduce negative environmental impacts. But they expect brands to help them!
In the UK and USA, 88% of consumers want brands to help them make a difference – both socially and environmentally. And here in Scandinavia, 41% of consumers expect big national brands to produce sustainably, according to our recent consumer study. And, the current pandemic has only accelerated peoples’ preference for resourceful brands.
Consumers have grown weary of waiting for governments to take action on environmental issues. So, they demand companies act on matters that used to be way out of their wheelhouse. There is just no way around it; the bigger the brand, the higher the expectations.
Brands should seize this golden opportunity to strengthen their public image. Become Batman’s Alfred and help make the green choice the easy choice. But, how can brands become a catalyst for positive change? We bring you food for thought: carbon labelling and recycling systems.
Put a Label On It
Transparency is essential for change. Consumers need to know what they are buying and how it impacts the environment.
Oatly, Logitech, and Quorn are some companies that make sustainability more easily understood. Using carbon labeling, they inform consumers about the carbon footprint associated with the product.
However, the challenge for brands is to make the information easy to understand and act upon. Because, when is X amount of CO2 too much or acceptable for a given product? Clear guidance is needed and necessary. Still, consumers support carbon labeling. And it seems to work, one study concluded on its positive impact.
Helping with Recycling
As stated previously, consumers want brands to help them make a more sustainable difference. This is also necessary once the product has been purchased. Therefore, brands like Apple, Danone, Dell, and most recently Kroger have taken matters into their own hands and built out systems to recapture resources, thereby improving recycling materials.
Human errors often hinder these recycling programs. So to make recycling more convenient and reduce mistakes, Kroger has built a clever and free recycling program together with the environmental organization Terracycle. Participants get sent a box with clear instructions on what can be collected for recycling and which materials meet local collector’s requirements.
However, building such systems is complex and demanding. So, instead of building their own, some brands like Dove, Nivea, HP, and YES have joined existing recycling platforms. Swedish Pantapå is the world’s first deposit app for recycling packaging. Once the packaging is empty, a barcode on the packaging can be scanned using their app, which sends a deposit value directly to the user’s phone.
At Everland, we recently wrote an article on three ways to design packaging that is more easily recycled.
Lead the Way
Sustainability is, at times, an abstract term, unfortunately. We need clarity and action. Consumers want to start buying more sustainable products. Sadly, they don’t know-how. And they know little about which materials products are made from, often with severe consequences.
Cue your brand! Seize the opportunity to be the choice that empowers the transition towards sustainability. Use your brand’s position to influence the system on a larger scale. Allow consumers to make the best choice the easy choice.