Irecently watched the “Plastic Wars” episode on Frontline (viewable here). It was quite eye-opening, but for less-obvious reasons than were presented in the story. The main issues around the use of fossil fuels and lack of plastic recycling options are huge challenges that unfortunately are too immense for one individual or even one corporation to address. But, I did find a small point of hope:
"For many materials, recycling is cost-effective and good for the environment. Take aluminum, which can be recycled indefinitely using 95 percent less energy than it takes to produce new aluminum. For paper, the benefit is clear: one ton of recycled newsprint saves about 15 trees and 7,000 gallons of water, according to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency."
So, individuals and corporations can make an effort to choose packaging options that offer these benefits when they make their next purchases. And for the companies that make the switch, there is proof that their consumers will reward them with more loyalty and brand awareness. BillerudKorsnäs (BK) has written a very well thought out article titled “How to Use Sustainable Packaging to Build Customer Loyalty”. In that article, BK highlights a stat from a 2018 consumer loyalty survey:
Consumers ages 44 and younger are more likely to value socially responsible organizations. Luxury brands ranging from hotels to beauty brands are embracing sustainability, since three-quarters of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable products, according to Nielsen Research. That is a 25% year-over-year increase, the study reports.
BK also suggests how companies can leverage this:
Communicate Your Brand's Sustainability Mission
Do this by:
- Showing on the packaging what packaging materials are used.
- Explaining to the consumer how the packaging can be reused, recycled, or composted
- Conveying to the customer the sustainable impact they are making by choosing your product
And then reward your customers:
Reward Customers and Partners that Practice Sustainability
To build awareness about your company's sustainable packaging efforts, create campaigns highlighting your customers' efforts. For example, some companies hold recycling contests, where customers are asked to show how they are creatively reusing or recycling product packaging.
Brandmovers is fortunate to be an approved vendor for promotions and loyalty with Nestlé, the world's largest food and beverage company. So we were honored to execute a sustainability focused promotion for Nespresso concerning their all aluminum single use capsules.
Not only is Nespresso using a 100% recyclable product (coffee to compost and aluminum to new capsules) but they are taking the next step in their product by closing the loop and providing the recycling program themselves. The one issue that Nespresso was struggling with was the adoption of the program among their customers. Although Nespresso has the capacity to recycle 100% of the capsules sold, currently only 32% (as of 2018) of capsules are returned to the company for recycling.
So Nespresso engaged Brandmovers to execute a socially enabled promotional sweepstakes to encourage increased participation in their recycling program. Consumers were invited to share what small steps they were taking in their lives to be more sustainable. To showcase how aluminum Nespresso capsules could be repurposed, there were 8 grand prizes: RE:CYCLE, a stylish urban bicycle made from recycled Nespresso capsules.
Social influencers prompted consumers to share their photos and stories with #MySmallStepsSweepstakes on Instagram. Photos were aggregated into a mosaic site that will be repurposed for future engagements.
The program was a roaring success, with thousands of stories shared across social media. Click here to download a full case study on the program and see detailed statistics and mechanics on the program.
Our entire team was proud to participate in a project that directly addresses the ongoing battle concerning sustainability and convenience. If your company is facing the challenge of how to address the sustainability issue, reach out to us today and we will be happy to use our experience to help you craft a solution and achieve measurable results.