A New Tech-Fueled Era for Sustainability Arrives

A New Tech-Fueled Era for Sustainability Arrives

Our recent What’s Sustainability Got to Do With It study found that consumers are focused on sustainability attributes when it comes to selecting products across categories. It’s one of many calls to action for brands yet to pick up on the opportunities that sustainability presents for their businesses.

Whether it’s incorporating sustainable production methods into their supply chain or ensuring it’s easy to recycle a product at the end of its life cycle, there’s a wide range of sustainability growth opportunities that brands can capitalize on—many starting at the intersection of what consumers perceive is healthy for them and what’s healthy for the world.

Julia Wilson, Director, Global Responsibility & Sustainability, Nielsen, recently sat down with Dave Stangis, Chief Sustainability Officer, Campbell’s Soup Company, to learn more about how this intersection increasingly shows up as a brand opportunity for the food sector, as well as for companies across industries. With “sustainability” as an umbrella term that can mean a lot of different things depending on the context, there are a confluence of forces coming together to affect how consumers and brands interact.

“Some of these longer-term trends around clean [agriculture] tech, sustainable farming methods, regenerative agriculture, personalized ingredients and nutrition, local production—these things that were better for the planet and that consumers understood, they understood as better for them,” said Stangis.

He also underscored the connection between sustainability and brand opportunities as a win-win for consumers and companies. Sustainability initiatives—whether it’s consumer-facing efforts to change up the ingredients and packaging, or more behind-the-scenes efforts to green the supply chain, for example–can open up a wide range of benefits, from revenue and cost-savings to improved engagement with consumers.

To empower brands across all sectors to unlock new sustainability-related opportunities for their businesses, Stangis underscored the essential role for data and technology to play.

Stangis also highlighted how evolving opportunities for new forms of consumer engagement have also opened up in recent years. “Consumers are asking for things they didn’t ask for in the past–because technology is enabling them to get that information,” said Stangis. “And there are things we can measure today that we were never able to measure before, [such as] overlaying weather and soil data, helping our farmers be more efficient.”