11 top sustainability statistics to inform your sustainable marketing strategy

Our brand new sustainability blog series will help your business become a lean, green B2B marketing machine. Let’s get started…

  • 16th August

Our Managing Director Geoff Undrell was recently invited to host a sustainability round table as part of Cisco’s EMEA Marketing Velocity event in sunny Spain. He was there to not only impart our hard-earned knowledge around sustainable business from a marketing perspective, but to lead the conversation with fellow commercial and marketing leaders from across the IT & technology channel.

It was so well received, and such insightful conversation, that we wanted to make sure our own audience didn’t miss out on the knowledge shared. We’re going to be publishing a series of blogs on how sustainability and marketing are a perfect pairing for growing and developing your business. Over the course of this series, we’ll be sharing some sustainable marketing examples, and giving advice on how to get the green ball rolling and kickstart your business’ sustainability strategy through marketing.

Trust us, it’s not just about shouting about your business’s carbon footprint. It’s so much more.

What are the motives?

More and more, people are investing in sustainable companies. Whether that’s genuinely as an investor, as a customer, or in a partnership capacity, people want to do business with businesses that have a solid ESG strategy and put some good out into the world.

Businesses are now expected to positively contribute to the world around them for their own competitive advantage as well as environmental impact; general advice is to act now to avoid obsolescence in the future. As put by Alina Marm, Global Head of Sustainability and Circular Economy at Siegwerk: “It’s not just about doing the right thing, it’s also about remaining competitive and future-proofing your business.” Being green will be the key to earning more green in the future…

What’s the situation today? Business sustainability statistics

Environmental, Social and Governance: Having clear marketing around your ESG policy will help your teams stay ‘on message’ when communicating your business value.

  • In recent research by Accenture on responsible leadership, companies with high ratings for ESG performance enjoyed average operating margins that were 3.7x higher than those of lower ESG performers.
  • Alongside margin, the best ESG performers see faster growth and are reported to have at least 10% higher company valuations.
  • However, only 24% of companies see sustainability as a competitive advantage.

Internal marketing: Marketing your sustainability strategy in your own internal communications is vital to the retention and recruitment of top talent, and to making sure that your green initiatives are known and supported from the top down:

  • 64% of European businesses have an Environmental Policy.
  • More than two thirds of employees don’t know about the impact your Environmental policy is making.
  • 70% of Gen-Z employees actively want to know about the policy.

Employee driven change: The result of this employee-led interest in developing green initiatives is immeasurable. Amongst a survey of 6000 Europeans, there were three top sustainability initiatives that employees wanted to play a role in their organisations’ environmental policy:

  • Prevent and decrease environmental impact (51%)
  • Ensuring constant improvements (38%)
  • Social impact – giving back to communities (28%)

And of those surveyed, marketing employees were amongst the most clued up on change. 81% agreed that green initiatives would be fundamental to their companies’ future public perception and employee satisfaction.

Consumer attitudes: Today’s customer wants the businesses they use to reflect and support their own environmental efforts. Your business needs to have the answers they’re seeking around sustainability, and the proof they need, to make sure it’s you that they choose. For that reason, ask yourself, is your sustainability value proposition helping to create a better reputation with environmentally conscious customers? If it needs some work, we’ve got a blog for that.

  • 85% of consumers globally believe they are thinking and acting greener.
  • 50% of consumers rank sustainability as a top 5 value driver.
  • 73% of business-to-business buyers would pay more from companies with a strong purpose, compared to 48% of consumers.

So why now? Beyond the marketing lies mandatory compliance

Sustainability rules and regulations are increasingly being mandated at both governmental levels and as industry standards. One such example is the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) which is making its way through the final stages of the EU’s legislative process. This statute will hold a range of different EU organisations responsible for any adverse human rights and environmental impacts of their actions, not just for their own operations, but in their chain of activities inside – and outside – Europe.

The entire supply chains of these organisations will be subject to mandatory audits to ensure that environmental and human rights standards are being met every step of the way. If any adverse environmental impact is discovered, the companies involved will be liable for clean-up costs. And if an audit finds that any direct or indirect supplier is at risk of causing an adverse impact, companies will be required to step in and financially assist their deficient suppliers to meet the directive’s requirements. Crucially, this directive is due to be active later this year, and affected companies will have just two years to get in line. That’s certainly gonna be a big lift for many.

Now that’s a hefty example, and a lot of legal speak. But it demonstrates why it’s so important that businesses of all sectors and sizes acknowledge that this isn’t coming, it’s here. Your sustainability strategy needs to be top priority, and key to its success will be how you communicate it both inside and outside your organisation as part of your marketing strategy.

Our next blog will guide you through taking the first steps towards creating your sustainability strategy, and will go into more detail on some of the marketing specifics to consider. You won’t want to miss it, but in the meantime, if you have any questions, speak to us.

Elly is one of our longest standing team members, having been with Asgard for just over four years. Writing content and delivering events are where her heart lies, both of which she does regularly across our client-base.

Elly Lee, Marketing Executive,

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