Gilles Lipovetsky, French philosopher, refers to our current era as ‘hyper-modernity’ and characterized by the culture of excess, individualism and a way of life where all things are intense and urgent. We live in a world of contrasts, which has a billion of people starving, freshwater shortage and so much rubbish that we don´t know what to do with it. This situation is very complex and raises lots of concerns.
With the Economic growth and the resulted raise in the offer of credit, people are consuming more and, therefore, using more natural resources. But they are also more conscious about sustainability. Consumers have been changing and are now paying more attention to companies’ practices and acquiring new habits which are less aggressive to the environment. Companies are paying more attention to corporate social responsibility and are more aware of the power of the consumer, with their social media and word of mouth channels.
We know that Consumer’s purchase decision involves more than product performance, that the brand must be engaged with consumer´s preferences and overall social issues. Actually, the Sustainability element has been contributing to influence consumer´s buying decision, choosing Companies with which they identify and approve their Conduct.
I appreciate the retail market movement in Brazil for sustainability. The retail and market associations are engaging the audiences for reflection, talking about conscious consumption, corporate social responsibility and sustainability. These actions try to identify the impacts – from people and Companies – in the world and work to change the scenario. This is a big challenge for Companies – from all sectors – and they need to improve their value chain and engage other stakeholders. Besides this, they must improve their operations and business model, highlighting the importance of the subject.
The dialogue that now Companies maintain with consumers is recent and we are learning together to identify solutions. Better and broader communication leads to a successful sustainability process when it delivers relevant information, and contributes to cultural change. All strategies must be aligned to attend all stakeholders.
The stakeholders see positively the communication of sustainability practices. On the other hand, the consumer is paying attention to the initiatives announced and if they are relevant or not. Be careful!