During my conversations with diverse businesses, I've noticed a common question arising: "Why should we invest in restoring nature when our operations don't directly rely on natural resources, and we're actively minimising our environmental footprint?" Beyond the obvious reasons like combating climate change and the ethical motivation to do less harm, there's a compelling business rationale driving this imperative. In this article, I’ll explain why this is becoming increasingly relevant for any business.
Whether you are selling complex enterprise software or fast moving consumer goods such as a granola brand: the success of a company is the result of (satisfied) customers. And that is exactly why every business should be acting now. Millennials and Gen-Zs are reshaping buying behaviour across industries, through their dominant position in the B2C segment, and increasingly entering the B2B buying domain. Any business looking to stay relevant in the long term, should strategically position itself as a brand taking care of our planet and the people living on it. A lot of research has been done on this subject, so let's take a look at the data.
Driving consumer buying intent & loyalty
- Nielsen reveals that a substantial 66% of consumers are willing to spend more on sustainable brands.
- According to Deloitte, 83% of millennials are loyal to sustainable brands, and for Gen-Z this number is even higher.
- McKinsey’s figures confirm the above, as products making ESG-related claims experienced a robust 28% growth over the past five years, compared to 20% for products not making any claims.
ESG as core KPI in B2B supplier selection
A recent report from FleishmanHillard shows that:
- 83% of B2B buyers are teetering on the edge of reconsidering partnerships if your ESG credentials fall short.
- 57% of businesses are bidding farewell to suppliers who aren't upping their ESG game.
- 76% of B2B buyers are advocating for transparency, as they believe businesses should boldly showcase their ESG efforts. It's not about a quiet mention in a proposal; it's about making sustainability a central element in your communications
The opportunity: Exceed expectations beyond the bare minimum
In conclusion, the data speaks for itself. Customers are voting with their feet and choose brands going the extra mile for nature and society at large; it's a fundamental shift that businesses can't afford to ignore. Whether you're in B2B or B2C, the message is clear – doing nuthing is not an option.
But preaching doomsday isn’t what Sumthing is about. Let's flip the narrative: instead of seeing sustainability as an existential threat, look at it as an opportunity to create value. It's not just about meeting standards; it's about exceeding them and standing out in a crowded market. Consumers and businesses are clearly embracing brands that champion sustainability. It's a chance to build your brand beyond your products: one that resonates with values and leaves a lasting impact on our planet.
We’ve built Sumthing to boost engagement with corporate nature restoration efforts, so brands can fully tap into the opportunity to connect with their customers. For any business that is looking to reap the benefits of this opportunity and move from a compliance based sustainability agenda, towards creating long term brand value, shoot me a message and let’s explore the opportunity together!