The WFA and Kantar have launched their latest report on the state of sustainability: Sustainable Marketing 2030. It is well worth a read.
There were a few things in the report that stood out for me and none more so than the opening of the exec summary:
“The key to sustainable marketing lies in adopting circular principles in every aspect of the discipline.”
That last bit is worth repeating: in every aspect of the discipline.
The next stand out is that despite the perceived progress of organisations in their sustainability approach, the progress of Marketing has stalled/remained identical (from the last report in 2021). BUT, Marketing is in a strong position to lead an organisational transformation program around Sustainability. Marketing has the budget but also the role of chief influencer across any organisation to bring separate teams together to work on bigger agendas, such as Sustainability.
And it is for this reason, the report suggests that it is Marketing’s time to step up and take that leadership role regarding sustainability.
I want to bring out one more thing from the report before getting to the point of this short blog, and that is two of key challenges that organisations’ face on their sustainability journey:
- The lack of P&L policy/guidance on creating a planet versus profitability balance
- The internal mindset that sustainable solutions will be more costly than existing ones
On the internal mindset challenge, Marketing should be placed to be able to help identify any incremental value from Sustainability practices. After all, Marketing is in a constant battle to prove that it is a value generating lever for the business rather than a cost.
To help do this, Marketing needs to look at themselves to understand how their practices may or may not be helping their organisation’s approach to sustainability. Take for example, media planning. How aware are marketers of the impact of their media strategy on Sustainability or the route to being carbon neutral? And can marketers prove the value of bringing a sustainability approach into media planning and prove the ROI?
This is exactly the conversation that I am most looking forward to in our next Ignition Room Huddle where we have Rachel D’Cunha and Dominic Charles from Wavemaker and the ex-Head of Media at Nationwide, Chris Ladd, talking about how we can bring Sustainability into the effectiveness agenda, and how to prove the ROI of doing so.
Look forward to seeing you there.
Register for the Huddle here