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Collaboration Creates Answer to Climate, Brand Sustainability Challenges

Glenn Polyn//June 23, 2021//

Men are playing with the ball and have a dog on the lawn. In green city concept. paper art and craft style.

Collaboration Creates Answer to Climate, Brand Sustainability Challenges

Glenn Polyn //June 23, 2021//

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Press release: Emergent

Three firms, Chicago-based Emergent – The Healthy Living Agency, London-based Brand Experience Group (BXG) and Seattle-based Informed Sustainability Consulting recently announced a first of its kind collaboration to provide turnkey services for pet brands and retailers that answer the growing influence of climate change and sustainability impacts on their business prospects.

The integrated Brand Sustainability Solution program provides:

  • A comprehensive, standards-based, data-driven climate impact analysis of product carbon footprint to promote integrated organization accountability and actionable modifications to achieve sustainability goals
  • Consumer choice drivers to answer key strategic, proprietary questions about how pet brands should best leverage sustainability for business growth, and
  • Marketing services designed to help pet brands and retail banners successfully communicate their climate and sustainability bona fides to key stakeholders and consumers.

“Pet brands are about to be ground zero in a major cultural shift taking place that redefines the meaning of sustainability and will recast brand value propositions,” said Robert Wheatley, CEO of Emergent – The Healthy Living Agency. “Climate and sustainability commitments, practices and standards are becoming a competitive advantage launchpad in the marketplace for brands and retailers.” If global climate mitigation needs are left unattended, sustainability challenges will accelerate and while doing so negatively impact brand reputations and business results.

Wheatley said “Pet brands and retailers especially would benefit from a robust, science-based approach to assess emissions and determine carbon footprint vulnerabilities within business operations, supply chain and manufacturing.”

Calculating sustainability via measurable outcomes like consumption of natural resources (land, energy, water), and carbon emissions is crucial to making meaningful inroads on the climate problem and earning credibility for it.

“Forecasted growth of land use and greenhouse gas emissions due to increased global demand for meat ingredients are truly incompatible with sustainability,” said Isaac Emery, founder of Informed Sustainability Consulting.

“To inform strategic sustainability planning with credible consumer data, Brand Experience Group uses AI-enabled research and analytics capabilities to answer key questions such as how big a factor sustainability is for specific category users, which climate issues are most relevant to them, what the current consumer perceptions of a pet brand or retail banner are based on its sustainability practices, and how this translates into informed choice and business outcomes,” said Lawrence Hutter, chairman of BXG.

BXG reports there is a rapidly growing cohort of consumers who care deeply about climate impact and who are using their purchases to signal a vote for change in how businesses address environmental concerns.

“This is going to impact business growth, and as such there will be winners and losers,” said Hutter. “Consumer sentiments and opinions will ultimately foretell brand strength on sustainability and increasingly influence business performance over time.”

To help businesses respond to these rapidly changing consumer attitudes, Emergent has constructed a custom six-point plan to refine category design, brand strategy and communications so pet brands and retailers are able to convey their climate mitigation and sustainability stories more effectively.

“Despite the pandemic-related slowdown, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are higher than any time in the last 4 million years. The last time CO2 levels were this high, sea levels were about 80 feet higher than today,” reported Emery. “Our food system contributes 34 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions. Companies that take action to reduce their impacts now will be ahead of the curve as the issue gains traction with consumers and climate stakeholders.”

Wheatley said all three firms have been tracking and reporting on these developments for a long time.

“We have evidence the environmental issue is already gaining traction – making responsible climate policies a consideration on the path to purchase,” he said. “We expect to see rapid adoption of carbon footprint scoring on package labels that helps consumers make more informed choices. People want to know how climate-positive a brand, product or retailer is.”

The Brand Sustainability Solution program is designed to help pet brands better evaluate their current sustainability metrics and liabilities, and thus determine where changes and improvements can be made. The integration of research into sustainability-linked consumer choice drivers and marketing communications services delivers a seamless, integrated solution to help companies leverage this important development. Programs will be custom built to fit within client budget resources.

To inform business leaders on the risks and opportunities of the changes underway, the three firms have jointly produced a free publication, The Climate Audit and Brand Marketer’s Guide, highlighting these critical climate and sustainability concerns and services.