New research suggests marketers lag corporate progress on the sustainability journey

Research from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), titled Marketing and Sustainability: Closing the Gaps identifies that while marketers believe that they can be a force for change, marketing, as a function, often lags other functions within the business: Just 10% of marketers claim to be well advanced in this area compared to 29% who said that their company as a whole was at this stage.

The findings are based on in-depth qualitative Interviews with 13 global Chief Marketing Officers as well as a quantitative survey run in conjunction with National Advertiser Associations including ISBA, with responses from more than 650 marketers in 34 markets around the world.

The UK specific results were based on responses from ISBA members and key findings include:

  • 80% of UK Marketers are taking action related to the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs)
  • 100% of UK Marketers believe the Marketing Function can make a difference to the sustainability journey.
  • 90% of UK CMOs believe sustainability is being taken seriously in their organisation, this compares to only 77% at a global level.
  • The brands that CMOs identified as communicating their sustainability journey the best were Unilever and Patagonia.

Main directions marketers in UK seek to progress their sustainability agenda are having more access to sustainability case studies and be part of a global promise for marketing and sustainability to have higher impact in the sustainability strategy

The findings show there is work to be done but looking forward marketers agree that consumers expect brands to help improve the environment and expect sustainability to have higher importance post-pandemic.

The study will be repeated on an annual level and is open to all brand CMOs.

Member-only document

Marketing and Sustainability: Closing the Gaps - UK report

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