Can we predict our way to a better future?

 

We have been working with a host of partners and combining data sets to predict what sustainability issue consumers will care about in the future. When it comes to investing in an initiative, knowing your idea has longevity is important but this importance is magnified when it comes to sustainability challenges because the commitment required is often much longer term. 

 

Aligning what your brand stands for, what your consumers care about, what communities and investors expect, and what governments demand of organisations is a dynamic challenge that requires ambition, resilience, and foresight. Prediction can help find that sweet spot of environmental / social impact and brand growth. 

 

One of our most exciting breakthroughs has been with Natural England where we have been combining social conversation with environmental impact and natural capital data. Natural capital is the value of nature. How much is a woodland worth to society? How much is a tree worth? Or an ecosystem, or a particular species? When we view nature through the lens of monetary data, we quickly see how valuable it actually is and how little we have paid for its preservation until now.  Natural Capital is now a key metric that big investors like BlackRock are expecting businesses to both report on and invest in.

 

Data points including size of online conversation, momentum of the investment community, measurable global goals, and the resulting impact are all components in building our sustainable algorithm to help deliver a commercially viable solution to the challenges we face at an environmental and social level. Predicting what issues will resonate with consumers will provide a steer to brands in its positioning beyond shareholders and internal stakeholders.

 

For environment and society to thrive, we will need to strike the right balance across the underlying tension that sits at the crossroads of commercial growth, environmental preservation, conservation, and social cohesion. And the unimaginable financial cost when it goes awry.