Voice of the Industry: Sustainability Survey

June 2024

Amidst inflation, geopolitical tensions, and climate disasters causing supply chain disruptions, sustainability gains momentum, compelling action from both businesses and governments. This report brings together insights from Euromonitor’s Voice of the Industry survey, which tracks how businesses define, manage and communicate sustainability, in addition to insights from Sustainability Claims Tracker, which shows how companies use product claims to communicate sustainability with consumers.

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Key Findings

Sustainability vertical integration breaks internal barriers

In the pursuit of sustainability, companies face defining challenges. To succeed, internal consensus is vital, using standardised metrics to address social and governance concerns effectively. This empowers positive environmental impact, ensures compliance with stricter laws, and strengthens resilience through proficient risk management.

Companies can benefit from leading the fight against climate change

Companies are understanding the threat of climate change on business practices, such as supply chains, particularly in the most vulnerable regions. Coupled with external pressure from regulators and stakeholders, embracing sustainability is invaluable to companies, such as the efficiency and financial benefits of embracing more circular initiatives.

Commitment around social aspects gets stronger

Amid global inflation and geopolitical challenges, corporations are increasingly prioritising social commitments such as healthcare and gender equality. Yet, to achieve SDGs, aligning finance flows to support developing nations is crucial, fostering partnerships, innovation and infrastructure investment across regions.

Embracing accountability and ESG reporting

In a world demanding accountability and transparency, some companies are shying away from showcasing their sustainability efforts, fearing public backlash and greenwashing scrutiny. Embracing ESG reporting and leveraging on product claims and packaging is key, as it paves the way for standardised terms and metrics, ensuring genuine impact communication.

Investment in sustainability can unlock long-term cost- cutting potential

Investing in sustainability shows to have cost-cutting potential in the long run, and steps are continuing to be taken in order to direct investment into decarbonising the global economy. This, alongside pressure from stakeholders and new legislation encouraging transparency with consumers, shows that investing in sustainability now is more valuable than ever.

 

Scope
Key findings
Expressed engagement with sustainability falls amidst tightening legislation
Defining sustainability remains focused on environmental impact
Social and governmental aspects of ESG are considered increasingly important
Danone: The Danone Impact Journey sustainability roadmap
Sustainability becomes less important for business resilience compared to other factors
Sustainability is less of a priority to companies overall
Companies feel hindered by consumers’ lack of willingness to pay more for sustainability
August: Environmentally-friendly menstrual care products with a social cause
Latin America values climate action more than the rest of the world
Consumers demand increased transparency over their purchases
Blue Bin: Planet-friendly lightweight wine
Companies are less inclined towards high-cost and long-term investments
New laws banning carbon offsetting cause uncertainty over net-zero carbon strategies
Governments ramp up the push towards climate action
Iberdrola: Committed to sustainable energy and a net-zero emissions future
North America leads the loss of engagement with the SDGs
Forward Faster: UN Global Compact aims to speed up five SDGs
Social sustainable development goals lead the way
Companies struggle to communicate sustainability initiatives effectively
Sustainability reports are increasingly integrated with financial reports
Rewe Group includes cocoa-free chocolate in its private label products
Companies choose to communicate sustainability initiatives through meaningful storytelling
Increasing innovation and regulation surrounding packaging impacts new launches
Tide Evo’s innovative format in recyclable packaging
Companies value investment in employee support over environmental initiatives
Aldi uses AI to track flexible plastic packing recycling
External stakeholder interests lead the way for sustainability initiatives
Global initiatives are attempting to remove the common barriers to investment
“It’s Now for Nature” campaign to boost corporate nature strategies
Key takeaways
About Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Industry Survey series
Respondent job profile
Respondent geographical profile
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