Achieving 'Mainstream Green' is Key in Accelerating Transition to a More Sustainable Economy
New Guide by BCG and the CMO Sustainability Accelerator Highlights Ways to Link Sustainability to Broader Related Needs and Remove Barriers to Growth for Customers for Whom Sustainability is a Concern, but Not a Primary Driver
BOSTON, Sept. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- 96% of US consumers say they at least sometimes try to behave in ways that protect the planet, its people, and its resources1. Reaching collective climate ambitions requires massive consumer change, and chief marketing officers (CMOs) are well-positioned to drive this growth by "bringing green to the mainstream," according to an action plan for growth released today by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the CMO Sustainability Accelerator, a coalition composed of the Association of National Advertisers, Sustainable Brands, and Adweek.
The report, titled The Future is Mainstream Green: Introducing a New Growth Strategy, outlines a roadmap for how to achieve Mainstream Green — defined as driving sustainable choices by all consumers, not just those who are moved by sustainable claims. Reaching Mainstream Green is a key opportunity for marketers to help close the intent-to-action gap by motivating customers to move beyond expressing concern for sustainability to adopting sustainable behaviors and purchasing sustainable goods/services.
"Organizations cannot achieve the environmental sustainability goals that they've pledged without inspiring consumers across the board to change their habits," said Lauren Taylor, a BCG managing director and partner and global leader of the firm's customer-centric sustainability topic, who coauthored the report. "However, we need to make sustainable options meet consumers' core needs, rather than expecting the majority to make tradeoffs when they choose a sustainable option. Making green truly mainstream will require activating large-scale collective action by companies, with CMOs playing a key role."
"As vital members of the C-suite core to business growth, CMOs and marketing leaders around the world are seeking new and actionable ways to drive sustainable practices—table stakes for thriving businesses in a new era," said Jenny Rooney, Chief Experience Officer at Adweek. "Adweek, ANA, SB, and BCG have come together to create a roadmap that provides direction to help marketing chiefs champion and implement sustainable business practices throughout their organizations. Adweek will continue the sustainability conversation and learnings through upcoming content and gatherings, including an event where our community can explore these guidelines and the C-level collaboration necessary for success."
"We know sustainability can play a key role in driving growth, which is the centerpiece of the ANA's Growth Agenda," said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. "The ANA is proud to produce this new report in collaboration with BCG and our partners in the CMO Sustainability Accelerator initiative. These guidelines and recommendations will help CMOs drive behavioral change in consumers and marketers who appreciate the benefits of being green but need guidance on how to fulfill the promise of rue sustainability while growing their business."
"Most brands are somewhere on the journey to becoming a sustainably regenerative brand of the future, and we are delighted to provide this practical and applicable resource for CMOs to engage with their cross-functional stakeholders and help them collaboratively tackle the challenges toward good growth with their C-suite partners," said KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, founder and Chief Executive of Sustainable Brands.
The CMO is Key to Unlocking 'Mainstream Green'
Just 20% of consumers think they can personally have an impact on climate and sustainability issues and more significantly, approximately 70% of consumers are disillusioned2 – wary of corporate claims about progress toward sustainability. But they are critical stakeholders, without whom companies can only achieve a portion of their environmental sustainability goals. It is up to marketers to link corporate climate and sustainability commitments to palatable growth drivers and show their customers that they are not merely performative. In addition to representing the voice and perspective of the customer, CMOs ensure cohesion across functions to realize business value from sustainability. As experts on customer needs and barriers, they can make complex topics digestible, and unfamiliar products desirable to ultimately activate significant consumer change.
Three Steps to Making Sustainability a Driver for Growth
Marketers can achieve Mainstream Green by putting customers at the center of a three-step strategy to make sustainability a driver for growth:
Download the guide for customer-centric sustainable growth here.
About the Association of National Advertisers
About Sustainable Brands
About Boston Consulting Group
Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that question the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting, technology and design, and corporate and digital ventures. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, fueled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and enabling them to make the world a better place.
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SOURCE Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
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