“Sustainability as we know it is dead” reveals the world’s best-known advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson, in the latest report to come from its global futures think-thank, the Innovation Group. ‘The New Sustainability: Regeneration’ presents the urgent case for brands to adopt regenerative, not just sustainable, practices.
Consumers are already operating from a sustainability mindset, even if they struggle to make it a lifestyle. They are increasing the pressure on brands to make it easier for them to do so, calling for greater transparency and pushing for more sustainable options.
To understand these consumer attitudes and behaviors across countries, The Innovation Group commissioned an original survey of just over 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and China. The study was conducted by SONAR™, J. Walter Thompson’s proprietary research unit.
Key findings include:
- 92% of consumers are trying to live more sustainably, but 54% think they could be doing more
- 92% of consumers say sustainable business practices should now be standard
- 90% of consumers say that companies and brands have a responsibility to take care of the planet and its people
- 91% of consumers think companies/brands that pollute the environment should be fined
- 86% of consumers agree that companies/brands that continue to deplete finite resources are stealing from the future
However, J. Walter Thompson presents the evidence that sustainability, and doing less harm, is no longer enough. With 86% of consumers saying that companies and brands that continue to deplete finite resources are stealing from the future:
- 2000+ cities globally exceed pollution recommendations
- By 2050 we will need the resources of three earths to sustain us if population growth continues on its current trajectory.
The report, which will be presented to the agency network’s clients offers recommendations and case studies to adopt regenerative business practices.
European Director, J. Walter Thompson ‘The Innovation Group’, Marie Stafford said, “This report explores the future of sustainability. It’s a complex, nebulous and often paradoxical concept. Even its definition seems vague and elusive. What was once seen as a burden or a box-ticking exercise is now a major opportunity for innovation and even revenue. However, the future of sustainability, and for brands, lies in regeneration: seeking to restore and replenish what we have lost, to build economies and communities that thrive, and that allow the planet to thrive too”.
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