In fa­vor of sus­tain­able brands

Business World - - SPECIAL FEATURE - Mark Louis F. Fer­rolino

IN RE­CENT years, sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment has be­come a cru­cial fac­tor for con­sumers — es­pe­cially the most dom­i­nant gen­er­a­tion to­day, the mil­len­ni­als. They have dis­tinct val­ues, be­hav­ior and habits when it comes to earn­ing and spend­ing.

On av­er­age, mil­len­ni­als — more than other gen­er­a­tions — spend more on com­forts and con­ve­niences. They most likely spend their money for pricey cof­fee, clothes, and restau­rants, and out- of-town trips. De­spite of this, one good thing about this gen­er­a­tion is their strong affin­ity with sus­tain­able prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Ac­cord­ing to “The Sus­tain­abi l ity Im­per­a­tive” re­port by a global mea­sure­ment and data an­a­lyt­ics com­pany, Nielsen, con­sumer brands that demon­strate com­mit­ment to sus­tain­abil­ity out­per­form those that don’t. It says that con­sumers are try­ing to be re­spon­si­ble ci­ti­zens of the world, and they ex­pect the same from cor­po­ra­tions.

As noted in the re­port, sales of con­sumer goods from brands with a demon­strated com­mit­ment to sus­tain­abil­ity in 2015 have grown three times higher than those without. In fact, 66% of con­sumers said that they are will­ing to pay more for sus­tain­able brands, 20% higher than the pre­vi­ous year.

“Con­sumer brands that haven’t em­braced sus­tain­abil­ity are at risk on many fronts,” Carol Gstalder, senior vice- pres­i­dent of Nielsen Rep­u­ta­tion & Pub­lic Re­la­tions So­lu­tions, said in the re­port. “So­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity is a crit­i­cal part of proac­tive rep­u­ta­tion man­age­ment. And com­pa­nies with strong rep­u­ta­tions out­per­form oth­ers when it comes to at­tract­ing top tal­ent, in­vestors, com­mu­nity part­ners, and most of all con­sumers.”

Ac­cord­ing to the same re­port, mil­len­ni­als are the most will­ing group to pay ex­tra for sus­tain­able of­fer­ings. This find­ing was con­cluded af­ter more than 30,000 on­line con­sumers from 60 coun­tries were polled. Next to mil­len­ni­als, gen­er­a­tion Z and baby boomers are the gen­er­a­tions who are will­ing to pay more for prod­ucts and ser­vices that come from com­pa­nies com­mit­ted to pos­i­tive so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.

“Brands that es­tab­lish a rep­u­ta­tion for en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship among to­day’s youngest con­sumers have an op­por­tu­nity to not only grow mar­ket share but build loy­alty among the power- spend­ing mil­len­ni­als of to­mor­row, too,” Grace Far­raj, senior vi­cepres­i­dent of Nielsen Pub­lic De­vel­op­ment & Sus­tain­abil­ity, said.

Glob­ally, based on the “2015 Nielsen Global Cor­po­rate Sus­tain­abil­ity Re­port,” the in­cli­na­tion among Filipinos that buy so­cially re­spon­si­ble brands is among the strong­est. It is noted that 83% of Filipinos said that they are will­ing to pay more for sus­tain­able brands, a re­mark­able four- point in­crease from the pre­vi­ous year.

“Sus­tain­abil­ity is a world­wide con­cern and this is es­pe­cially true for con­sumers in a growing pop­u­la­tion such as the Philip­pines to be con­tin­u­ally aware of en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­ci­etal is­sues,” Stu­art Jamieson, man­ag­ing director of Nielsen in the Philip­pines, said. “More ex­posed to the stress in the en­vi­ron­ment and its ef­fect to the com­mu­nity, con­sumers are try­ing to be re­spon­si­ble ci­ti­zens and they ex­pect the same from cor­po­ra­tions.”

Mr. Jamieson said that these con­sumers are do­ing their pur­chase re­spon­si­bly — they are check­ing the la­bels be­fore buy­ing, they are look­ing at Web sites for in­for­ma­tion on busi­ness and man­u­fac­tur­ing prac­tices, and they are pay­ing closer at­ten­tion to pub­lic opinion on spe­cific brands in the news or on so­cial me­dia. —

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