Sustainability as a core element in design has been a growing topic of discussion in the last years. For this Earth Day, we asked some of our Creative Leadership to share their thoughts on how sustainable practices and approaches are changing our industry for the better. Additionally, following our recent acquisition by MSQ, read below the steps we are taking as a company to become more environmentally friendly and what we’re doing to reduce our carbon footprints.
How has the growing importance of sustainability impacted the creative industry?
“It has not only challenged us to continually ask, how we can make this better by design at every stage, but sustainable practice is often a pre-requisite to partner with forward thinking brands. This helps us all to be more accountable for the choices we make.” – Head of Strategy, London
What role does sustainability play today in branding or rebranding a brand?
“A significant role. With a shifting consumer mindset and external pressure mounting, every brand will be required to drive sustainability. Informing the brand purpose, products & services, brand narrative and values.” – Senior Strategy Director, London
“Brand building (when done well) has always been a sustainable practice – thinking not only about the now but how to appeal to future generations.” – Head of Strategy, London
“Sustainability has played a critical role in shaping brands today and their future brand ambitions. No longer can ESG be a separate initiative outside of Branding & Marketing. Sustainability not only drives a company/brand to be thoughtfully purposeful but pushes brands to view sustainability as a driver for ROI. A brand needs to decide how they deliver sustainability against UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – it is so much deeper than Saving Mother Earth – that aligns and amplifies their core essence. Brands also need to recognize it’s ok to acknowledge that Sustainability is a journey – whether small efforts like cause marketing, brand partnerships through to actual sourcing/operations – to full implementation. If consumers feel that the journey/effort is authentic and comes from true intention, we begin to build trust and hopefully increase conversion.” – Group Account Director, Singapore
“Brands in the future will need to go beyond ‘minimum requirements’ or a compelling ‘brand narrative’. How they show up will be increasingly scrutinized by consumers.” – Senior Strategy Director, London
“Increased focus on sustainability means there’s nowhere a brand can hide. It’s positioning needs to be true, transparent and authentic. And this can only be a good thing for brands.” – Head of Strategy, London
“Sustainability’s role in a brand is to drive meaningful, authentic purpose and to deliver this promise through to consumers with a meaningful shopper experience within their Brand World.” – Group Account Director, Singapore
“Sustainability is no longer a nice to have. It’s a critical success factor in the design of any new brand, product or proposition.” – Head of Strategy, London
What can the creative industry do to impact awareness around sustainability and the future of our planet?
“The creative industry can go beyond creating awareness. We have the ability to communicate and engage with the public. We can also influence our clients to drive sustainability development within their industries. Together, rethink ‘business as usual’ and provide better alternatives for our society. We can be a force for good.” – Senior Designer & Sustainability Advocate, Singapore
“We can play a role in shifting sustainability from a positive attitude for consumers to active behaviour change. As creatives, we can come up with disruptive ways to nudge consumers into sustainable behaviours.” – Senior Strategy Director, London
“We can put our brand powers to good use and help brands that have a positive impact on the planet to grow and bring them to the attention of a broader audience. For example, helping plant-based brands to appeal to mainstream consumers.” – Head of Strategy, London
Check out our Earth Day campaign on Instagram.
At MSQ, sustainability is a key strategic priority. As one of the first global marketing groups to achieve ‘carbon negative’ status as a business last year, we are continually searching for ways in which we can become more environmentally friendly and work towards reducing our carbon footprints. As a business, we’ve committed to reducing our carbon emissions per head by 50% by the end of 2024, planting 1 million trees over the next 5 years, developing low-carbon digital marketing solutions for our clients and setting ‘Science Based Targets’ to reduce our footprint in line with 1.5 degrees by 2030. Together we are pledging to take real action and work towards real change. Be sure to Follow Elmwood and MSQ/Sustain for all the latest updates on our journey.