Sustainability has fast become a deciding factor in business when there are more people who raise awareness about environmental problems, passionate about using products toward sustainability.
Unilever with the FMCG giant’s reputation talks about how sustainability has been appealing for potential employees.
Claire Hennah Unilever’s vice-president of global e-commerce said that sustainability is the main reason people choose to join the business, equivalent to 72%, according to research among its employees shows in 54 of the 75 markets where it tracks staff engagement.
At Econsultancy’s Future of Ecommerce conference in November 2021, she said: “We have an incredible workforce of people who are so passionate about sustainability. It’s one of the core reasons people are joining Unilever. They have the passion to really lead the agenda and have the difficult conversations with retailers, listen to consumers and work with partners,”
Unilever has sustainability at its core, evidence of the growth in its operations. “It’s quite straightforward for us; brand purpose grows brand power and brand power drives market share and hence growth,” she explained.
We have an incredible workforce of people who are so passionate about sustainability that it is one of the primary reasons people join Unilever.
“We really firmly believe that companies with purpose last, brands with purpose grow and people with purpose thrive. Now, we know that sustainability matters more to people than ever, particularly to young people.”
The company worked with the analyst firm Kantar to determine the "correlation" between brands that contribute to society and growth.
“We see that those brands that really care about purpose grew sales more than two times faster than the rest of the portfolio,” said Hennah.
“People are very aware of greenwashing. They need to be able to decipher and understand the choices they’re making so we can also communicate with them better. Consumers don’t want to pay a premium for making sustainable choices.” Hennah explained.
Consumers respond to sustainability
People of all ages are adopting more sustainable consumer behaviors. However, generational analysis reveals significant differences in the level of engagement between age groups. If we had to pick one perceived barrier to the growth of sustainable and ethical brands, it would have to be affordability. To put it another way, the more affluent the consumer, the more likely they are to adopt a sustainable lifestyle.
Cost is a significant impediment to adoption, particularly when it comes to switching to sustainability. It's also a common reason why people haven't shopped for more sustainable brands; they may want to, but don't think they can afford it. Furthermore, when switching to sustainable products, customers may have to give up the convenience they have come to expect from other services, implying that brands must do more to engage and adapt with consumers.