TED TALKS are back to our city. Save the date: Saturday, 28th and Sunday, 29th September at Milan’s Dal Verme theatre; Robilant Associati and Fondazione Italia Patria della Bellezza once again Supporting Partner.
“GREEN“. For years now, like a bell, the word keeps popping up in the minds of companies and consumers, an unwavering call to make more responsible, ethical and conscious choices.
According to GfK Eurisko more than a third of consumers now consider sustainability a deciding factor, at least as much as quality and price, and the importance of the topic for consumers is, naturally, a driver for companies that in different spheres and in different ways work to improve their level of sustainability: from the design of their headquarters and retail spaces, to the updating of manufacturing processes, all the way up to distribution and packaging.
These last two points, in particular, represent an enormous part of the challenge, being more intertwined than people might think. In fact, the eco-friendly “conversion” of companies as relates to these latter two involves extraordinary costs in terms of long-term investments in innovation in technology, processes, certifications, communication and visibility.
A commitment at this scale is only feasible for companies if adequately supported and aided by an equal effort on the part of retailers. Especially in the food and consumer goods sector – where moreover, packaging and the amount of packaging materials that get thrown away is undoubtedly “THE” issue – retail has more power than industry when it comes to directing consumption, educating consumers, driving innovation, because it controls their advertising.
Giving adequate space and visibility to brands and products that focus on sustainable innovation, incentivizing them and increasing their presence on shelves, can obviously open up new frontiers in ethical consumption and offer more space for investment and sustainable development to conscious companies.
A choice in this direction could represent, even for large-scale retailers, an attribute that could set them apart, an indispensable factor for remaining competitive into the future. On the other hand, tomorrow’s firms will have to be sustainable or they will cease to exist.