As the end of 2021 approaches, almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the emergence and rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant has increased uncertainty and weakened the momentum of the global recovery. This series of quarterly reports helps businesses track and predict when activity in some of the most important markets will recover in order to plan accordingly.
In 2021, half of professionals consider that their company is on a journey to become purpose driven. However, for some companies the cost of the transition remains an important barrier preventing them from embracing purpose. If balancing short-term and mid- to long-term priorities has proven to be challenging, now it is even more as the economic crisis starts to manifest.
Consumer willingness to pay more for sustainable products should not be the only driver of corporate efforts to become more sustainable. Following one of the worst recessions on record, high prices prevent sustainable shopping achieving mass market traction, unlocking its full potential.
The language used for sustainability does matter. Today, there is a shift in the narrative, messages are moving away from doing less bad or compensating negative impacts towards having a positive impact and being a “force for good”. There is also a change in how sustainability is communicated, with storytelling and product claims increasingly used.
Commitments by businesses to decarbonise supply chains and operations look good on paper, but they need to be followed by action. Governments need to start playing a greater role to facilitate the transition not only with targets and policies but also with incentives. n.
Sustainability investment is on the rise with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) already at the top of investors’ agenda. Mandatory ESG reporting for companies is set to increase business transparency and accountability, ultimately impacting decisions about which company to invest in, buy from or work for.
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