The COVID-19 pandemic invigorated many new attitudes, the most obvious and perhaps largest being conscious consumerism.  Because of this, as well as pressure for  corporations to take climate action, many companies have announced net-zero or carbon-neutral commitments.  They do this on their websites, in advertising, in retail when appropriate, and in their annual reports.

This growing awareness and demand by consumers for authenticity in general, and climate action specifically, is not a trend – it will continue to expand as climate catastrophes increase. People want to make a difference, and they want the businesses they support to do the same.

With the rise of the purpose-driven consumer, brands are struggling to find a way to authentically connect with people. They are seeing a gap between intention to buy and action, and are now beginning to realize they need to shift their approach.

According to the New Climate Institute, many well-known corporations have promised to cut emissions to net zero, but their existing plans would reduce emissions by only 40%.  Other companies included in the study are reporting only Scope 1 and 2 emissions, from internal operations and power used, and ignoring Scope 3 altogether, which represents supply chain.  Scope 3 alone can account for more than 70% of a company’s overall emissions.

Clearly there’s a disconnect.  Many companies state their corporate missions and goals, including ESG, but few of them actually deliver.

In a recent report from marketing firm Stackla, survey results show how there is a great deal of corporate talk, but how few companies actually deliver. There’s reason why climate-savvy consumers question what they’re being told. Take a look at these surprising statistics:

  • 92% of marketers believe most or all of the content their brand creates resonates as authentic with customers,
  • yet only 51% of consumers believe that less than half of brands create content that resonates as authentic.

That’s quite a gap.

Also, 53% of consumers say they would leave a brand that does not follow through on its commitments. Consumers now want authentic relationships with purpose-driven brands, and they want to see results. [1]

Studies show that 88% of consumers say they want to buy from companies that benefit the environment and society, but only 26% actually do so. Why?  Roughly 41% say the biggest barrier to sustainable action is they don’t know where to start.

How better to prove to a consumer that your company is doing the right thing while helping consumer take an active part in climate action than by actively engaging them in carbon reduction on a personal level?

Soli activates a brand’s sustainability to increase engagement.  It enables a brand to engage on an emotional level by providing a carbon neutral experience to individuals.

Through Soli’s patented technology, carbon offset tons are broken down into fractionalized bits that can be attached to everyday purchases. This makes it easy for the brand and seamless for the consumer.

Customers then “own” the fractional carbon offsets and credits from their experience or transaction with the brand, which allows them to steer a brand’s sustainability investments by personally selecting relevant carbon offset projects.

Not only do customers see a brand’s sustainability communication in action, but they also have a direct hand in choosing the types of projects or regions where the projects occur.  They can now personally have a dramatic impact on a project, and climate change.

Soli’s program allows a brand to develop targeted ROI-driven marketing programs, while counting towards its ESG goals.

Brands need to look beyond transactional relationships to emotional marketing.  In an era of omnipresent social media, technology and media have given individuals the power to stand up for their opinions and beliefs on a grand scale. They want action, not just talk, and they want to be part of that action. They want to be heard. They want to participate!

[1] Cone Communications