What role does marketing have to play in a sustainable future?

To mark Earth Day 2022, Jonathan Hall, Managing Partner of Kantar’s Sustainable Transformation Practice, reflects on the role marketers have to play in “investing in our planet”.

Ahead of this year’s Earth Day on 22 April, we are being asked to ‘invest in our planet’. The organisers of the annual climate action event state: “We need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us.” With this in mind, what is the role of business – and more specifically, the role of marketing – in effecting the change that the planet and human society need to see?

Kantar’s consumer trends tracker Global MONITOR shows that people blame business for society’s environmental challenges: 79% of people globally hold large corporates responsible. And so, when companies look to take action, they’re faced by skepticism: 63% of people across the world are cynical about the motivations of brands in this space according to our Sustainability Sector Index.

We know that people want to see change, with over half (58%) globally paying attention to social and environmental issues and 50% investing time and money in companies they believe do the right thing. But the majority of consumers (63%) don’t feel like it’s down to them to clean up the mess. (Sustainability Sector Index). So, who should be leading the transformation?

This article was published exclusively on Kantar.com on April 22, 2022.