According to a new international study by Unilever, sustainable business practices are not only good for the environment, they’re also a good way to sway potential customers. Unilever's research indicates a $1 trillion USD potential market opportunity for companies and organizations that can successfully communicate their sustainable products and practices to the public.
From the press release:
More than one in five (21%) of the people surveyed said they would actively choose brands if they made their sustainability credentials clearer on their packaging and in their marketing.
Unilever says the trend appears to be well-established and growing. A majority of international consumers report positive feelings when they purchase sustainable products. That’s true for 78% of shoppers in the U.S. Internationally, this “feel good” number jumps to 88% in India and 85% in Brazil and Turkey.
What are the probably reasons for consumers' increased focus on sustainable choices in these economies? Unilever says there are two main factors:
First is direct exposure to the negative impact of unsustainable business practices, such as water and energy shortages, food poverty and poor air quality. And second is the power of social norms.
Corporate responsibility and the implementation of environmental sustainability practices can improve an organization’s triple bottom line goals for social, ecological and financial returns. Whether it’s written on a product’s label, sent out in a press release, or posted on social media, this information can potentially have a big impact on potential customers' buying decisions and how they view the organization.