Affordable Sustainability: Making it Simple and Accessible

August 2023

This report urges businesses to embrace affordable and accessible sustainability. It presents a comprehensive set of effective actions that can be implemented seamlessly to unlock the untapped potential of democratising sustainability during times of economic uncertainty. The report also explores what the future of sustainability might look like, and gives recommendations for businesses to follow.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key findings

From added cost to cost Saving

Sustainability has transformed from an expense to a cost-saving strategy, impacting investments, product development, and consumer sentiment, shaping purchasing behaviours. This trend will persist as a driver of financial and reputational growth.

Shifting investments

Amid economic uncertainties, businesses are prioritising cost-effective strategies to secure long-term gains. Previously overlooked sustainability investment areas, such as circular economy, are now capitalising on evolving global economics.

Reduced willingness to pay more

The current cost-of-living crisis and escalating prices of everyday goods have led consumers to be more cautious about allocating additional funds for products. This trend extends beyond sustainability to encompass other attributes.

Short-term decline in product development

Using sustainable materials, and certification standards and maintaining competitive pricing has become more challenging. This trend is expected to continue in the short term, guiding cautious investments in sustainable products

Increasing interest in repairing

Consumers are prioritising longevity and increasingly embracing repair as a strategy that marries sustainability with financial savings. This shift extends across various product categories, from electronics to fashion and beyond.

Better communication is vital

Moving forward, maintaining effective and transparent communication will remain essential to avoid greenwashing accusations, engage stakeholders, educate consumers about sustainable choices, and promote the use of affordable products.

Key findings
Sustainability emerges as a cost-cutting strategy amid inflationary pressures
Surging investment in overlooked areas amid product development decline
Product development hit by reluctance to p ay premium for sustainability
Vegan, vegetarian and plant-based claims are experiencing the greatest impact
Global affordability is key to unlocking sustainable growth
EcoSoul: Making household essentials affordable to all
Multiple markets face affordability challenges for sustainable products
Consumer aspirations and economic realities are out of sync
However, co nsumer price sensitivity is not exclusive to sustainability
Simple actions to unlock accessible sustainability now
Enhancing energy efficiency for reduced operational costs
Cool Roof France: Oyster-based roof paint cuts cooling energy usage
Energy optimisation takes centre stage for retailers in 2023
Danfoss: Leading the way to energy-smart solutions in retailing
Circular economy: Cutting costs, boosting sustainability
Repairing gains favour, while renting faces challenges
France to launch clothing repair bonus scheme
Harnessing AI for sustainable cost savings
Rapid growth in AI investment in the food sector
Holland’s “next level” AI for greenhouse agriculture
Cutting costs and carbon footprint with sustainable packaging
Consumer demand for business accountability in sustainable packaging is on the rise
However, c osts are temporarily discouraging companies from making the switch
Coca-Cola bottlers: Plan recycling tech investments
DoorDash : Launches affordable sustainable packaging
“Greenwashing” and “greenhushing” can hamper truth-driven communication
Uncertified “environmentally friendly” claims lead in purchases and product development
ESG reporting gaining traction to communicate sustainability with stakeholders
University of Zurich: ChatReport’s AI-powered disclosures assessment tool
Navigating financially appealing sustainability requires innovating for accessibility


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