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Exploring How Brands Are Tackling Environmental Costs: A Glimpse Through the Brewer’s Perspective



Exploring How Brands Are Tackling Environmental Costs: A Glimpse Through the Brewer's Perspective

Climate change is a reality. If we think melting glaciers won’t significantly affect us, it’s time to face the truth. Currently, climate change is responsible for approximately 315,000 deaths annually due to illness and weather-related disasters. By 2030, this annual death toll is projected to rise to half a million. Climate change has already impacted our homes, and the vast amounts of waste, including plastics, come from various products. As responsible marketers, do we have a duty to address climate change? Many brands are now aware and are making significant efforts to benefit not only themselves but also the planet. In addition to sustainability, does this approach prove effective in marketing? Let’s consider some statistics to gain insight into this reality. Research indicates that over 42% of millennials and nearly 39% of Gen-Z are inclined to purchase sustainable services or products. Sustainable branding, coupled with other factors, influences 57 percent of Gen Z and 53 percent of Millennials.. But how exactly are brands integrating sustainability into their core operations, and what are the challenges of fostering this shift?

Sustainable Marketing: Green Practices For Blue Planet

The demand for change has reached new heights, prompting even industry giants like Coca-Cola, the world’s largest plastic polluter, to shift gears and prioritise recycling—a concern they previously overlooked. Similarly, PepsiCo’s recent announcement to switch to sunflower oil instead of palm oil in Lays is a significant step forward. Palm oil cultivation has long been linked to deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest, making PepsiCo’s decision a positive move towards sustainability. Marketers are ditching old tactics and embracing fresh ways to showcase a brand’s sustainability efforts. Here’s the lowdown:

1. Responsible Sourcing:
  • Behind-the-Scenes Access: Documentaries and social media content reveal ethical suppliers and responsible sourcing practices, building trust with consumers.
  • Partnerships for Change: Collaborations with NGOs raise awareness about ethical sourcing and demonstrate a brand’s commitment to positive action.
  • Educate, Empower: Marketing materials teach consumers about the importance of ethical sourcing and its impact on the world.

2. Eco-Friendly Packaging:
  • Less is More: Marketers are pushing for minimalist packaging and exploring eco-friendly materials to reduce waste.
  • Recycling Revolution: Partnerships with recycling initiatives and consumer education programs promote responsible waste disposal.
  • Packaging with a Purpose: Interactive, reusable packaging extends a product’s life cycle and adds a unique touch.

3. Energy Efficiency:
  • Visual Impact: Marketers translate energy reduction efforts into infographics and videos, showcasing the environmental benefits.
  • Green Partnerships: Highlighting partnerships with renewable energy providers demonstrates a commitment to clean power.
  • Incentivize Eco-Choices: Loyalty programs and discounts reward consumers for choosing eco-friendly options.

4. Circular Economy:
  • Durability Wins: Marketing focuses on product durability and repairability, with extended warranties and readily available parts.
  • Rethinking the Product Journey: Brands offer options for consumers to return used products for repair, refurbishment, or recycling.
  • Repair Alliances: Partnerships with local repair businesses encourage consumers to “repair, not replace.”

5. Ethical Labour Practices: Putting People First
  • Humanizing the Supply Chain: Social media content showcases the people behind the products, fostering empathy and connection.
  • Fair Trade Focus: Marketers highlight certifications and partnerships that demonstrate a commitment to fair labour practices.
  • Consumer Advocacy: Encouraging consumers to learn about labour rights empowers them to choose ethical brands.

Brands are indeed making efforts, but sustainability requires long-term commitment. A single campaign or initiative can not overhaul the entire landscape. The process and initiatives need to persist across every campaign. However, let’s acknowledge the progress. Here are some examples where brands have gone the extra mile to strike a balance between marketing and eco-friendliness:

  • Decathlon: During their rebranding, the sporting goods company: Prioritized recycling old signage and using recycled materials for new ones, reduced packaging size and explored biodegradable options. and increased their focus on digital marketing and communication.
  • The Body Shop: This beauty brand is committed to sustainable packaging, using recycled plastic and cardboard whenever possible. They also offer refill options for many of their products, reducing packaging waste.
  • McDonald’s: In some countries, McDonald’s has partnered with organisations to convert their used advertising banners and flex hoardings into school bags for underprivileged children.
  • Tesla: Tesla’s electric vehicles directly address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Their marketing focuses not only on performance but also on the environmental benefits of their products.
  • IKEA: IKEA promotes sustainable forestry practices and offers eco-designed furniture made with recycled materials. Their marketing showcases the functionality and longevity of their products, aligning with a sustainable mindset.

Sustainability is no longer a niche concern. Consumers are increasingly demanding eco-conscious practices from the brands they support. 73% of Generation Z consumers are willing to pay a 10% premium for sustainable products, according to a report from First Insight This shift presents a unique opportunity for businesses to not only contribute to a healthier planet but also to secure a loyal customer base.

But why Sustainability Not Yet Ubiquitous?

The population of environmentally conscious consumers remains limited, highlighting the responsibility of brands and marketers to raise awareness about eco-consciousness. Often, consumers prioritise convenience and cost over the well-being of the planet. Despite the growing momentum of the sustainability movement, widespread adoption still faces several challenges, including:

1. Greenwashing:

It’s basically the deceptive claims beneath the green sheen.Some brands engage in “greenwashing” – making misleading or unsubstantiated claims about their sustainability efforts. Vague marketing messages or a lack of data to back up claims leave consumers sceptical .This erodes consumer trust and hinders overall progress.

2. Marketing Myopia:
  • Short-Term Gains: Some marketing strategies focus on quick wins rather than long-term impact. This overlooks the long-term benefits of sustainable practices, like brand loyalty and positive environmental impact.
  • Jargon Overload: Technical jargon and overly complex messaging alienate consumers. Sustainability needs to be communicated in a clear, relatable way.
  • Lack of Storytelling: Dry facts and figures don’t inspire action. Effective marketing uses storytelling to connect with consumers on an emotional level and motivate them to embrace sustainable choices.

Now the question is, Kare Toh Kare Kya?

Making eco-conscious choices and managing waste responsibly isn’t just a choice -it’s a must. Sustainability holds vast potential in marketing; people crave it, yet brands often fall short in spreading the word. There’s a yearning for connection, for stories that resonate with our eco-values. If you’re out there with a sustainable product or service but struggling to shine the spotlight on it, don’t fret. We’ve got your back! If you aspire to make your brand not only profitable but also responsible, then rely on us in this battle against harmful brewing practices.Gr8 Brews stands firm on the side of Green; together, we advocate for our blue planet. Let’s connect to, brew green and brew right!