A clear majority of marketers feel a moral imperative to incorporate sustainability practices into business, yet the companies they work for do not have a defined sustainability strategy. This was one of the key findings of a new report launched by The Drum, in association with gyro, which reveals the gap between marketers and the C-suite in how sustainability is perceived within companies.
The report, Mind the Gap: How Marketers Feel About Sustainability, surveyed over 200 brands and agencies to understand how marketers perceive their organisation’s impact on the environment, the barriers they encounter, and how they view their roles alongside the C-suite in driving the sustainability agenda.
It found that despite marketers feeling strongly about investing in sustainability to improve the long-term perception of their brands, an absence of management urgency and buy-in are acting as barriers in preventing sustainability from being driven forward. This is despite the 42% of marketers who believe investment in sustainability will lead to long-term financial gains, and 41% feeling confident sustainability will put them in a strong competitive position in the market over the next five years.
“Nothing is more humanly relevant than sustainability,” says Christoph Becker, global CEO and CCO of gyro. “Now is the time for business to drive positive and necessary change. Because sustainability isn’t just about business, it is about the future of life itself. As this ground-breaking, first-of-its-kind study proves, a company’s stated approach to sustainability is the primary marker that shows it is living up to its stated ideals.”
The results of this report bring the marketers’ perspective to the growing body of research that shows a direct correlation between a brand’s sustainability agenda and customer purchase habits. An international study from Unilever of 20,000 adults from five countries found that consumers are actively buying from brands they perceive to be doing social or environmental good. Another survey by Wine Intelligence found that U.S wine consumers are willing to pay up to seven dollars more per bottle for wine from companies using sustainable practices.