Insights 27/03/2019

10 Reasons to be… Sustainable Now

Imy Lenton

“The pressure on resource productivity is reaching a breaking point. A number of enablers are now also creating unique opportunities to adopt more resource-efficient approaches to value creation. The need for action and ability to act have never been better aligned.” 

World Economic Forum

Of course the above quote won’t shock, discussions around environmental impact have been widespread for well over a decade now. But why are we still seeing some brands lagging behind or seemingly ambivalent?

Sustainability can sometimes seem like a rather daunting prospect with the need to make the most of brand values, consumer benefits and supply chain efficiencies. We decided to help you explore the compelling benefits of sustainable change with a focus on consumer, business and the world, an approach that is central to practice here at Echo. Much like the European schoolchildren of today are saying “There is no planet B” and as such, we have a duty to innovate and design for the future but you can prosper on the way too.  


01. Organizations that had sustainability embedded into their culture saw a 24% increase in effectiveness.

Forbes (inc. ASQ, the Institute for Supply Management, and Deloitte) 2012 survey with 1,000 responses from sustainable supply chain execs


2. In 2017 Unilever’s Sustainable Living Brands grew 46% faster than the rest of their portfolio and delivered 70% of their turnover.


3. “This is a survival issue. We will not get the right to grow, and even worse, will not have the right to be in business, if we create a big environmental disaster. The world won’t put up with it. There’s too much awareness and amplification. You think about the impact a blogger can have when they choose to amplify their message.” – Sandy Ogg, Chief Human Resources Officer for Unilever


4. In G20 research of mandatory and voluntary approaches to sustainability reporting in 30 countries, it was found that there are already 142 country standards or laws with some sustainability reporting requirement or guidance, of which 65% were mandatory. – KPMG 2010


5. 76% of Millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work and 64% won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong corporate social responsibility practices.
Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study 2016


6. Ariel brand has continued its leadership as cold-water washing campaigns such as the Ariel ‘Turn to 30°’ have helped cut 58,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions by educating consumers to save energy.
Ariel, Marketing for Sustainable Consumption Case Study. Marketing Society, 2010


7. Sharp price increases in commodities since
2000 have erased all the real price declines
of the 20th century.
McKinsey Commodity Price Index 2012


8. By 2020 we aim to generate 50% of our sales from products with a significantly reduced environmental impact. (Base year 2011).
Beiersdorf website 2018

Johnson & Johnson are one of the first companies to sign up to the United Nations 2030 Sustainability Development Goals.
Johnson & Johnson website 2018


9. Seventy-five percent of those who changed their business model because of sustainability say their organizations either break even or show a profit from their sustainability activities, and 46% say their sustainability activities added to profits.
Sustainability & Innovation Global Executive Study. Innovation Management, MIT Sloan Managment Review & Boston Consulting Group 2012


10. 66% of Global Consumers are willing to pay more for environmentally sustainable products. Among Millennials that number jumps to 72%.
Nielsen 2015