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Sustainability: More than a Buzzword

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Sustainability: More than a Buzzword

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The word “sustainability” is commonly used and an ideal that is desired by many consumers worldwide. According to Hartman Sustainability (2019), since 2013, consumers’ associations of “sustainability” have seen growth in the following definitions: environmentally friendly, responsible farming methods, stewardship of land, and humane treatment of animals. The top definitions include ability to last over time, conserving natural resources, and recycle/reuse/reduce. Other values include fair trade, local, social activism, reducing carbon footprint, and economic viability, among others.

In short, sustainability is a purpose of values, beliefs, attitudes and actions that support responsibility for the greater good.

The NewValue Shopping

When considering purchase decisions, consumers expect nutrition, functional benefits and taste appeal – but increasingly that is not enough for them to carry the product to the register or click “add to cart”. They are more purposeful, driven by the desire to choose products that align with their core values of making a positive change for the health of the planet and the people involved in the supply chain, from the fields through the point of purchase. As a result consumers are increasingly checking labels and packaging for sustainability claims and supporting brands that can show these values. Today’s consumers feel empowered that their choices can make a positive impact.

There are five elements that sustainable-minded consumers are seeking from the brands they invite into their lives:

  1. Traceability: full processing transparency is linked directly to trust and safety
  2. Responsible farming: progressive consumers are more educated about holistic and organic agriculture
  3. Circular economy: food waste is perceived as an ethical concern in the fight against hunger
  4. Social justice: consumers are holding brands accountable for the fair and ethical treatment of individuals and communities involved in creating the product
  5. Environment: consumers are keen on ensuring the environment is not detrimentally impacted and will hold brands responsible for ethical environmental-preservation practices

Carbon Reduction Gaining Traction

As part of environmental stewardship, reducing carbon footprints is becoming a more prominent consumer demand, and manufacturers are responding. Uniliver, Upfield and Panera are brands that recently pledged to add carbon labeling on their products to assist consumers in making informed decisions about their role in environmental impact of the products they choose to consume. Other brands such as Bread Alone, Danone and Numi have vowed to achieve carbon neutrality in the coming years.

According to Euromonitor International Lifestyle Survey (2020), 65% of consumers worry about climate change, 36% are trying to reduce carbon emissions, and 23% are offsetting their carbon footprints. Further, two-thirds of consumers support climate impact labeling.

As a leading global food ingredient supplier, ADM is a partner well poised to deliver sustainability solutions and carbon footprint-reducing programs that can help you achieve your ESG goals.

Becoming a Sustainability Leader in the Food & Beverage Industry 

According to IRI & NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business 2020, since 2015 growth in sustainably-marketed products has outpaced conventionally-marketed products by far, representing 55% of total CPG market growth. Further, products with a sustainability story enjoyed a price premium of an average 39% across 35 varied CPG categories. These statistics have a deep impact when considering that sustainability-marketed goods comprise only 16% share of CPG products.

ADM can help you achieve your sustainability goals, and help your brand stand out in the marketplace. The ADM team works across the entire value chain to help create measurable progress on sustainability for their customers. From field to final product, ADM is working on innovative solutions including regenerative agriculture programs, a carbon neutral milling network, and traceable, responsibility sourced ingredients such as vanilla and mint.

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