NEWS3 August 2023

More communication needed from brands on sustainability

News Sustainability UK

UK – Brands should increase communications around the sustainability of their products and services with the public increasingly sceptical about brands’ commitment to green initiatives, according to research published by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

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The research, from the Sustainability Skills Gap report, found 63% of adults felt brands should increase communications around the sustainability of their products and services.

However, 41% marketers reported that their companies or clients have publicly available sustainability commitments.

The research also found that 63% of adults believe that many brands only get involved with sustainability for commercial reasons, as opposed to ethical reasons.

The results are based on surveys of 210 marketing professionals, 2,000 UK adults and an online survey of 1,193 respondents, including CIM members.

Younger age groups are more receptive to sustainable marketing, according to the research, with 59% of 18 to 34-year-olds saying they are more likely to buy products or services from a brand that advertises how sustainable they are, as opposed to 31% of those aged 55 and above.

However, 49% of marketers said they were wary of working on sustainability focused campaigns due to fear of their company or clients being accused of ‘greenwashing’.

Despite these fears, 55% of marketers recognised that sustainability is an increasing business priority, and 51% believed that climate change could threaten their existence.

The research also found that 48% of both jobseekers and current employees said they were more willing to work for a company that has strong sustainability credentials.

Chris Daly, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, said: “As marketers, we are all responsible for being proactive in implementing positive changes and embracing environmentally friendly working practices.

“If the marketing profession is to deliver meaningful and tangible change at scale then, as an industry, we must do more to address the sustainability skills gap and ensure that marketers are equipped with the skills they need to work confidently on environmental campaigns which can encourage others, and drive the positive responsible behavioural changes needed within society.”