3 Key Takeaways from our webinar Purpose Drives Preference
The region’s leading brands discussed corporate responsibility, consumer preferences, good growth and the impact of coronavirus on sustainability.
We recently hosted panellists from Unilever, The Body Shop and Spinneys as well nearly 100 attendees from across the UAE to discuss the growing demand for businesses sustainability.
Why it matters
Conscious Consumers, especially the younger ones, want to know a lot more about the products they purchase. What ingredients does it use? How was it sourced, produced, transported and packaged? What happens to the packaging after they use it?
Earlier, it was good for a business to offer transparency on these details. Today, businesses are expected to have a positive footprint when it comes to all these practices.
What we learned
INSIGHT #1 – SUSTAINABLE BRANDS ATTRACT CUSTOMERS AND DRIVE SALES
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened people’s sensitivity to environmental issues and has brought the health of the planet to the forefront of customer conversations, according to Sanjiv Kakkar, Executive Vice President at Unilever Arabia, MENA, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus & Turkey.
Unilever has responded by redoubling its sustainability efforts.
The company has already seen positive growth as a result of its commitment to responsible production and consumption.
Sustainable action can also lead to positive engagement with consumers.
The Body Shop’s Global Community Fair Trade Manager Lee Mann talked about the positive reaction to the company’s introduction of fair trade plastic packaging. Consumers resonated strongly with this initiative and the brand witnessed a significant reduction in negative conversations online.
INSIGHT #2 – PARTNERSHIPS HELP BRANDS ACHIEVE AMBITIOUS GOALS
Unilever’s Kakkar talked about the importance of partnering with knowledge-experts to develop meaningful guidelines and policies that are then enforced across its global supply chain. By working with organisations, Unilever ensures it has access to the latest thinking across a wide range of issues critical to responsible sourcing.
Partnerships offer valuable support at the local level too.
Sophie Corcut, Brand and Sustainability Manager at Spinneys, talked about the role of different partners in helping the company achieve its own sustainability goals while also contributing the UAE’s national food security goal. Spinneys recently launched a Local Business Incubator to support local food producers and help bring locally-produced food to its supermarket shelves.
Learn more about how partnerships with non-profits such as Emirates Nature-WWF can equip your business with science-based solutions, and help accelerate positive change when you sign up to our Monthly Business Newsletter.
INSIGHT #3 – SUSTAINABILITY IS A JOURNEY
A brand’s purpose is shaped by local needs, consumer demands, which are always evolving.
Prior to the pandemic, reduction of plastic waste was a key initiative for many brands. Other issues have now risen to the forefront, such as safeguarding human rights and ensuring communities have access to food and drinking water.
Businesses don’t always have the answers when they start their sustainability journey or commit to a big audacious goal. Corcut, Mann and Kakkar highlighted how their brands are working towards solutions by holding themselves to a greater standard, collaborating with like-minded organisations and investing in innovation.
To access the recording of the webinar or
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