Sustainable Supply Chains and Bottom Lines—The Two Are No Longer Mutually Exclusive

Over the past year, companies such as Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, P&G and Mars publicly committed to implementing zero deforestation policies throughout their supply chains. Sustainability is evolving from a nice-to-have to a business imperative, and businesses are beginning to recognize that what is good for the environment can also be good for revenues and help drive business growth.  

When done right and systematically, sustainability and zero-deforestation policies lead to improved brand image, industry differentiation, brand loyalty and, ultimately, stronger relationships with customers. For consumers, in particular, a company’s environmental practices are often defined by its supply chain, which provides a clear picture into how materials are produced and sourced.

According to new survey data from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), 50 percent of Millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable products and 39 percent do research into the sustainability practices of companies before making a purchase. This interest in sustainability appears to be a growing trend, from Baby Boomers all the way down to Gen Z. And with an increasing desire for sustainability comes higher purchasing power. Millennials, at $200 billion and Gen Z at $44 billion, annually, have strong influence over how brands are perceived in the marketplace, and over time, are likely to be even more socially and environmentally conscious.

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