26 Jun 2020
Posted in Consumer
Unilever set to leverage ‘carbon-neutral’ buzz-word post COVID-19, says GlobalData
With 60% of global consumers noting that low-carbon footprint is an appealing concept when it comes to food and drink in 2019, it is apparent that achieving carbon neutral milestones will come more apparent as businesses return to operations post-COVID-19 and spotlight shifts away from COVID-induced health trends and back to sustainability issues, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Unilever, along with a number of other major FMCG players, has made recent announcements that brings the company one step closer to the carbon neutral goal that dominated much of the collective consciousness last year. Marking a first in the industry, Unilever has announced plans to track the carbon footprint of 70,000 products with new ‘carbon labels’, giving consumers unprecedented visibility into the manufacture and shipping of its products.
Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “It’s a circular economy, the more initiatives companies take to go carbon neutral, the more likely consumers are to understand the significance and demand such activities as common practice.”
Bryan continues: “That’s not to undermine consumer sentiment, though – paving the way with carbon footprint tracking labels will greatly endear the Unilever brand to like-minded consumers, reinforcing loyalty in this group going forward, which is an important factor given the uncertainty surrounding the long-term impact of COVID-19.”
Unilever’s announcement is particularly interesting in terms of traceability and transparency. Such tracking features will help consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and can create a feeling of empowerment, as well as build trust and reassurance in the consumers’ mind – trends that are under the spotlight currently owing to the ongoing pandemic.
COVID-19 has heightened consumers’ sensibilities, and as a result, they have come to expect more from brands. According to GlobalData’s latest COVID-19 tracker survey, published June 3rd, *248% of global consumers’ want to see news and initiatives adopted by brands during the pandemic period, the second highest after tips on personal health and wellbeing.
Bryan adds: “Danone has also announced that its Volvic water brand is now completely carbon neutral, a key milestone that will set the standard for the rest of the industry. Company activity such as this will not go unnoticed by the public, and as economy reopens, it is likely that pressure from governments and consumers alike to go carbon neutral will increase.”
*GlobalData’s 2019 Q3 consumer survey – global, based on ‘somewhat appealing’ and ‘very appealing’ responses combined *2 GlobalData’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker Consumer Survey – Week 10 (June 3rd) – global