Creating brand-centric sustainability strategies


Environmental Social and Governance Investors are looking at how well-rounded businesses are in addressing sustainability issues. This goes beyond Environmental Impact. As Mark Carney has laid out in his new book Value(s), creating a roadmap to a better world requires the blurring of economic and social values. This is the new sustainability.


The sustainability landscape is vast covering everything from emissions to mental wellbeing, water scarcity, or the safety of the Asian community and women on the streets. If you’re in shampoo, whisky, food or telecoms and wondering how to match an ESG agenda with your brand and genuinely have an impact, using our Sustainability Demand Matrix is a great place to start.


This is about predicting sustainability demand, and finding the best fit for your brand. Certain sustainability issues, such as the impending climate disaster need to be incorporated as business as new normal, something that we as professionals and individuals should address (whether we work in consumer goods, industry or the service economy).


Here we focus on the sustainability agenda items that the brand doesn’t just do (like wastewater management), but overtly focusses on. We mean the strategies intended to drive more users, usage and benefits.  The strategies that blend material impact; investor momentum; consumer sentiment; culture and business agendas.


This can be about problem solving by participating in a new category like plant-based, as Richmond Sausages did by brand-blocking with meat and meat-free sausages. It can equally be about knowing how to participate in a sustainability space through storytelling or activation. Gillette went with a social movement with #MeToo, and Corona faced into ocean plastic with their Pay With Plastic initiative.


Once you’re clear on the sustainability demand that you want to create, you can execute through brand storytelling, innovation or partnerships. Our matrix is the first step in what’s next for your brand.