Environmental awareness – why is it so important for brands and how to develop it among colleagues and customers?
Almost every day we receive information about the negative impact of man on the environment. Increasing CO2 emissions, melting glaciers, global warming, growing mountains of garbage – man is responsible for all these changes. Brands have decided to join the battle for a clean environment. What pro-environmental measures are they taking?
Concern for the environment = concern for health
An international survey conducted by Tetra Pak Index 2019 confirms that environmental issues and health are the biggest concerns for consumers. Two-thirds of those surveyed felt that we are heading for an environmental catastrophe.
We were used to treating health and the environment as two separate areas, but these trends have changed. Nearly three in five consumers believe that their health and well-being is strongly linked to the state of the environment.
The issue of environmental problems, once seen as a somewhat abstract and distant element, has now transformed into a personal concern. Consumers are increasingly recognizing the impact of environmental problems on themselves – not only their physical health, but also their mental health.
The environmental awareness of consumers, especially younger ones, has increased significantly. Young people want and expect to be healthier and live longer than their parents, so they are emphasizing an environmentally responsible lifestyle. This is reflected in consumer choices, but also in the behavior of employees in the workplace.
The main change, for both health and environmental reasons, is the increased consumption of more environmentally friendly food and beverage products. The most desirable products are those that are as minimally processed as possible, such as milk, water, coconut water and plant-based beverages.
At work, especially in office buildings, employees are paying more and more attention to the benefits provided to them, such as the origin of fruit, coffee, tea (fair trade) or such a basic issue as water – a choice between a pail or a bottle in plastic seals.
An excellent example of a product that fits in with green trends is Eden water – crystal clear spring water sourced from Polish sources and extracted with respect for the environment. And another, safely filtered water thanks to the use of appropriate Eden filters, which purify water from impurities, eliminate sediments, bacteria, while not depriving it of valuable minerals.
Recycling, or the second life of packaging
Packaging is of key importance, or more precisely, its origin, because as it turns out, when talking about ecology, the first thing we think of is recycling. The aforementioned Tetra Pak Index 2019 study shows that 4 in 5 consumers have no problem paying more for environmentally friendly food and beverage packaging, and just over two in five are willing to pay a higher price for healthier food. The anti-plastic attitude is very strong, with consumers more willing to go for products whose packaging has been recycled and for so-called reusable packaging.
Other consumer awareness surveys indicate that more than half of Poles say they have taken a reusable bag on a shopping trip in the last two months, and 1/3 say they have refused to accept an unnecessary plastic bag in a store. However, as many as 70% of Poles still attribute responsibility for recycling products mainly to manufacturers.
The situation is similar in the work environment. Segregation of waste is already a staple. Increasingly there are also:
- containers for used batteries,
- containers for light bulbs or bottle caps,
- stickers reminding people to use water sensibly in the office,
- instructions to use one dose of soap to wash hands and two paper towels to wipe them,
- notices asking people to turn off lights when they leave the room or when they finish work,
- notices asking people to cut back on printing in favor of electronic workflows.
Companies are also betting on products that have reusable or recycled packaging. This is reflected in the perception of companies by employees, who rate environmentally friendly companies significantly higher.
Eden Springs addresses these attitudes – Eden’s water bottles are refillable, each used at least 50 times before being recycled. In addition, biodegradable and recyclable cups are also on offer. Such measures significantly reduce plastic consumption.
How do brands take care of the environment?
Brands that want to succeed must offer their consumers more than just great quality products and services. Consumers expect a commitment to the environment, so the food products offered must not only be healthy, but also produced in a nature-friendly way.
In turn, companies that want to attract the best possible candidates should manage not only human resources, but also the workplace itself, in a responsible and eco-trendy manner.
Among the actions in the field of shaping ecological awareness, companies are implementing educational and activating activities, such as cleaning up the city’s green areas, workshops on segregating ambiguous waste, or introducing programs to encourage commuting to work together or using non-emitting means of transportation – bicycle, scooter.
Ecology in transportation and logistics is also being promoted. From measures aimed at having the smallest possible inventory – ordering only the necessary amount of goods, centralizing warehouses, maximizing truckloads, combining transportation – avoiding empty runs, to using modern eco-friendly logistics software.
Some entrepreneurs are betting on sustainable production and eco-innovation, such as reducing heating expenditures, reusing manufacturing waste, thereby reducing non-recyclable waste to zero, or using washer fluid in capsule form in their vehicle fleets to replace plastic containers.