Sustainability: A staple of brands’ communication strategies

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Sustainability initiatives in APAC

Related tags: Belinda carli, Sustainability

As companies strive towards implementing optimal environmental initiatives, Belinda Carli, Director, at the Institute of Personal Care Science explores how this ongoing focus is stepping up a gear in 2017.

Beauty buyers are conscious about the cosmetics they buy and opt for products that aim to protect the wider environment and society.

Consumers are increasingly eco-conscious so they want to make sure the products they are buying are aware of their impact on the planet,”​ said Belinda Carli, Director, Institute of Personal Care Science.

Shoppers, however, also want this environmental consideration to be balanced with high-quality products that benefit the user as much as it does the world.

Consumers want to see a world that lives and thrives in the future rather than one that is depleted in resources, but they also want great products so they want to use products/brands that provide great products but are mindful of our planet,”​ emphasised Carli.

Building an ethos

Although this trend is fairly established within the industry, brands are updating their goals In 2017. Carli highlights that sustainability “needs to be every brand’s ‘background story’”​.

As such although “it is not a new trend”​, in 2017 it very much “needs to become essential”​ for brands to deliver a well-supported message and vision to consumers.

Carli elaborated: “Any company that doesn’t start making it part of their background ethos will be left behind. So it shouldn’t be a brand’s focus, but instead, be part of what the brand stands for and communicated to consumers how they achieve this as part of their company philosophy.”

Updating sustainability initiatives

The sustainability messaging that brands choose is also under careful examination by brand supporters and competitors.

The ongoing wider story needs to emphasise “how we are conserving resources” to provide consumers with adequate reassurance on specific sustainability efforts.

Primarily, sustainability objectives are mostly based on “reducing a carbon footprint and also choosing sustainable materials in their products. [These] can also include waterless products or low water use products”​, Carli continued.

 “It may also include a ‘give back’ message e.g. sustainably sourced exotic materials giving back to a local community where the extract/oil is sourced.”

Largely, its consumers, competitors and research organisation that hold brands accountable for their sustainability endeavours as “while there is RSPO looking after sustainable palm production, that’s it”​ in terms of specific movements and regulations governing this area.

“There may be localised energy checks on businesses/industry but this would totally depend on the local government and is certainly not mainstream.”

Although sustainable awareness is nothing new in the beauty and cosmetics industries, the focus and adoption of specific initiatives will increase this year. The biggest developments in sustainability in 2017 are set to be communication in marketing strategies, [as while] a lot of companies may already be making efforts we’ll see this communicated a lot more”​ this year.

The third part of this article will be published on 8th February 2017.

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