Sustainable shopping is healthy, even amid a pandemic

December 15, 2020 by  
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Sustainable shopping is healthy, even amid a pandemic Diane Osgood Tue, 12/15/2020 – 01:45 As sustainability professionals, we’ve been talking for years about how consumers are increasingly influenced by values and sustainability.  We search the data for proof points that people would prefer to buy from a more sustainable company. Indeed, even when we find the proof points, we also find a large action gap  between what people say and what they do. We think the action gap is about to get smaller, due to a set of trends and the context of the pandemic. The pandemic has shaken the mental health and emotional well-being of people everywhere. It also has caused many people to consider more carefully what they value most: family; friends; health — and savings, if possible. As a result, consumers are paying increased attention to  companies that treated their customers and employees well during the pandemic . Against the backdrop of the pandemic,  we see important trends. Values matter, even now The importance people place on values in purchasing has increased. Even a global pandemic and economic trouble couldn’t push values out of people’s minds. As the pandemic surged around the world, stock-art giant Getty Images wanted to know whether it rendered everything else irrelevant. It  combed  its own vast customer database of more than a billion image searches, then commissioned a third-party survey of more than 10,000 people across 25 countries, conducted in more than a dozen languages. If sustainability’s importance to consumers and purchasers didn’t go away in the midst of a global pandemic, will it ever? Getty found that months into the pandemic, consumers still had attention for other issues, represented by four basic categories: sustainability; wellness; “realness” (authenticity); and technology. Sustainability was, they learned, trending upwards ” quite against expectation .” And for those respondents who are passionate about sustainability, they said they were willing to pay 10 to 15 percent more for products or services from companies that: use sustainable practices; are aligned with their values; have transparent business practices; and care about the well-being, safety and security of customers. In other words, even in times of enormous upheaval, people still have, and act on, personal values. Shoppers’ behaviors continue to change What’s more, it’s not all just happy talk. We have seen this in shoppers’ actual purchasing behavior during the pandemic. Evidence? NYU Stern Business School’s 2020 Sustainable Share Market Index shows shares of sustainability-marketed products grew significantly during the week of March 15, and continued to maintain that increased share through mid-June. We have to wait until the researchers release the data analysis for the second half of 2020 to see if the trend held. However, the period of March to June clearly indicates consumers were more frequently putting their money where their mouth is on sustainability. The same study found that sustainability-marketed products are responsible for more than half of the growth in consumer-packaged goods from 2015 to 2019. Businesses are changing, too What’s changed is not just consumers but also business purchasing. We see evidence of business-to-business purchasing teams applying sustainability criteria to supplier expectations. The biggest driver seems to be net-zero ambitions. Any company that has taken on net-zero commitments will be looking at its supply-chain partners to reduce its carbon emissions and switch to renewables in the next few years. Indeed, Apple already has set the bar for its major suppliers such as Foxconn. Foxconn committed to supply Apple’s iPhones from factories run on 100 percent renewable energy.  Other companies, such as IKEA, BT, Unilever, Ericsson and Telia, have launched a new net-zero initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions across their supply chains. The trend in B2B spending strikes us as an important lever to accelerate even more sustainable production. New cross-sector efforts to address corporate supply chains and purchasing will further expedite effective approaches. If sustainability’s importance to consumers and purchasers didn’t go away in the midst of a global pandemic, will it ever? Remember when U.S. automakers thought customers weren’t that concerned about quality because they bought largely based on style? One day, we’ll look back at the belief that sustainability doesn’t matter to customers, shaking our heads the same way. Pull Quote If sustainability’s importance to consumers and purchasers didn’t go away in the midst of a global pandemic, will it ever? Contributors Daniel Aronson Topics Consumer Trends Marketing & Communication Consumer Products Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock

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Sustainable shopping is healthy, even amid a pandemic

It’s time to nominate rising stars for the GreenBiz 30 Under 30 list

December 15, 2020 by  
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It’s time to nominate rising stars for the GreenBiz 30 Under 30 list Heather Clancy Tue, 12/15/2020 – 01:30 The GreenBiz editorial team is looking for someone (actually, someones) to celebrate! If you know a young professional in the field of corporate sustainability — someone who already has made their mark during the first decade of their career — we would love an introduction. We seek nominations for GreenBiz’s sixth annual 30 Under 30 feature . This annual list recognizes individuals tackling some of the toughest sustainability challenges in business — from inside big companies, at the helm of startups, working in the nonprofit sector, shaping clean economy policy, the list is broad. You may nominate yourself or another individual using the form at the end of this article. (If you nominate yourself, you’ll need to provide a reference.) Review our age requirement closely: Nominees must not have reached their 30th birthday before May 17, when we plan to introduce the next list of honorees to the GreenBiz community.  We encourage submissions for individuals in all roles — even if the person doesn’t have “sustainability” in their title. If they are making a difference in climate action that has an impact on the corporate sector, we would love to hear about their work. And we are seeking diverse suggestions, in the many senses of that term, especially Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) individuals as well as those representing companies based outside the United States. We have much to learn from different perspectives. All finalists will be notified confidentially after the nominations close Jan. 23, when we’ll reach out to interview the selected honorees. We regret that we will be unable to contact those not selected for the list. Read about the 2020 class of GreenBiz 30 Under 30 honorees here .   Topics Careers Collective Insight 30 Under 30 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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It’s time to nominate rising stars for the GreenBiz 30 Under 30 list

Why sustainability professionals should drive green consumerism

April 14, 2020 by  
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What would happen if more people than ever before demanded goods aligned with a sustainable, low-carbon economy? Our economy would transition swiftly.

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Why sustainability professionals should drive green consumerism

Resilience after recession: 4 ways to reboot the U.S. economy

April 14, 2020 by  
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It’s important to choose wisely.

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Resilience after recession: 4 ways to reboot the U.S. economy

Small low carbon tech is better for decarbonization than mega projects, study suggests

April 14, 2020 by  
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Nuclear plants, CCS and whole-building retrofits should not be prioritized over smaller cheaper alternatives, study argues, while acknowledging small scale technologies do not offer a panacea.

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Small low carbon tech is better for decarbonization than mega projects, study suggests

Earth Day and the polling of America, 2020

April 13, 2020 by  
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In the future, it seems, we’re all model green citizens, at least in our minds.

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Earth Day and the polling of America, 2020

Hip hop can bring green issues to communities of color

April 13, 2020 by  
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The environmental movement largely has failed to connect with people of color and marginalized urban communities. By confronting issues from contaminated water to climate change, hip hop music can help bridge that divide and bring home the realities of environmental injustice.

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Hip hop can bring green issues to communities of color

Consumers need more affordable access to healthy and sustainable living

November 13, 2019 by  
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New research shows that Americans are increasingly concerned about the environment, but don’t currently have lifestyles that reflect that.

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Consumers need more affordable access to healthy and sustainable living

Americans, especially millennials and Gen Z, are embracing plant-based meat products

November 11, 2019 by  
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More consumers than ever are trying alternative proteins. But will they make them part of their diets?

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Americans, especially millennials and Gen Z, are embracing plant-based meat products

School’s back in session and Wisdom Supply Co. is teaching a lesson to reduce plastic waste

September 19, 2019 by  
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The B corp is working to to provide affordable, zero-waste school supplies.

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School’s back in session and Wisdom Supply Co. is teaching a lesson to reduce plastic waste

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