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Greenwashing Climate Crisis Sustainability

Out now: The Marketer’s Guide to the Climate Crisis


By Ellen Ormesher, Senior Reporter

August 15, 2023 | 4 min read

The report, which is available exclusively to members of The Drum Plus, details how sustainability is no longer a nice addition to marketing campaigns but an imperative for both business and the planet.


The Drum's sustainability report is available to exclusively to The Drum Plus members / The Drum

A 2023 IPCC report concluded that the window to halt global warming at 1.5°C and avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change is rapidly closing. Meanwhile, UN general secretary Antonie Gutteres has recognized advertising as a critical factor in the growing climate emergency, saying: “2023 is a year of reckoning. It must be a year of game-changing climate action. We need disruption to end the destruction. No more baby steps. No more excuses. No more greenwashing. No more bottomless greed of the fossil fuel industry and its enablers.”

Despite Gutteres’s warnings, less than half (45%) of 1,015 chief marketers surveyed by Deloitte are focused on establishing long-term sustainability commitments. But sustainability is high on consumers’ agendas. Protecting the environment and working together towards a more sustainable future is the number one value shift globally (69%) since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Hall and Partners research.

And despite 76% of marketers having been involved in sustainability projects over the past five years (Chartered Institute of Marketing study), 40% say they lack relevant sustainability marketing qualifications, leaving the industry at risk of greenwashing.

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In The Marketer’s Guide to the Climate Crisis, we have compiled some of the most cutting-edge research and analysis to highlight the key things marketers need to know about sustainability. From combatting greenwashing to meeting consumer demand, marketers must rise to the challenge of the climate emergency by reducing the industry’s emissions and using its unique talent for storytelling to help citizens on their journeys.

Advertising and marketing are uniquely positioned to shift behaviors and lifestyles towards ones less harmful to the environment. Still, they must get their own houses in order first. Marketers must place sustainability at the heart of all strategy, end greenwashing and drive sustainable behaviors through its unique power for storytelling.

Can marketing save the world? Probably not alone, but it can certainly play its part in providing the communication and solutions required to combat the climate crisis.

This report is available exclusively to members of The Drum Plus. Join now.

Greenwashing Climate Crisis Sustainability

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