Regeneration Rising: Sustainable Futures
New research from Wunderman Thompson suggest people have an appetite to change how they live, learn, work and do business but are looking to businesses to lead the way post-pandemic.
As we enter an exciting new era of unparalleled opportunities cultural change is now possible, with people willing to change their lives, make personal sacrifices for the planet, and give up simple pleasures.
Wunderman Thompson’s new original futures report, based on a survey of more than 3,000 adults in the UK, the U.S. and China, delves into this and more, featuring interviews with key opinion and thought leaders in the sustainability space.
“There’s no doubt that sustainability has become one of the top corporate priorities in recent years. We increasingly hear from clients that they want their brands to lead the way in creating positive impact, and that their company needs and wants to address sustainability for a better future,” explains Neil Dawson, the company’s Global Chief Strategy Officer. “Sustainability drives the bottom line, and we’re thrilled to be leading the conversation with Regeneration Rising, helping translate corporate strategy into sustainable, actionable insights.”
Key takeaways from the report
Concerns over planet and biodiversity remain high despite the dramatic health and economic impacts of the pandemic. On a list of problems, the world faces, people choose climate change as the second biggest threat behind infectious disease, chosen by 41% of respondents (34% in 2018).
The onus is now firmly and strongly on brands to step up to this challenge. People firmly believe businesses should be about more than just profit, and they want sustainability to drive decision-making.
The pandemic has really raised expectations of brands in terms of civic leadership, illustrating that dramatic change can be achieved almost overnight when the will is there. 75 per cent say that business responses to COVID have raised their expectations of them when it comes to helping fight some of the world’s biggest problems – like climate change.
Regenerative brands, that step up and show leadership, advocating for a positive impact across the three pillars of planet, people and prosperity will build resilience for the long-term AND engage audiences.
People and their wellbeing are now central to the sustainability debate – with growing focus on inclusion and equality. The events of 2020 have brought equality and social justice to the forefront, and brands will now need to consider these alongside environmental concerns.
Following the pandemic, our relationship with nature has also been reset, with a deeper understanding of how our wellbeing depends on that of the planet.
The report covers nine emerging trends across the pillars of planet, people and prosperity, including: Back to the Earth, Intersectional Environmentalism, The Climate Tech Boom, Planet, and People and Prosperity Trends.
Marie Stafford, Global Director, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, adds: “If we are to have any hope of tackling climate change, we now need brands to step up and show real leadership. This means prioritising people, tackling social issues like poverty and inequality, which our research shows are inextricably linked with the climate question.
“Pioneering brands, who commit to being truly regenerative, aiming for a positive impact on people, planet and prosperity will reap the rewards. Those are the brands that will be more resilient, more aligned with people’s values and best-placed to tap the opportunities identified in our trends.”
Download the report by clicking here.