The positive impact of COVID on sustainability

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Paul Banton Managing Director at Ruddocks

Paul Banton

In: News 

COVID has had a hugely negative effect globally however, there have been some positives, particularly for the environment. In fact, some estimates indicate that the lockdown periods across the world helped to reduce carbon emissions by 17%, helping wildlife and the environment to thrive once again.

As a result, many prominent sustainability academics are reporting the recent pandemic could actually be a catalyst that benefits climate change.

One such study states that 200 leading businesses have called on the Government to prioritise the environment in the pandemic recovery strategy. The basis for this is evidence which points to the fact that environmental damage and pandemics like COVID are intrinsically linked.

In short, industrialisation, globalisation and the mass movement of people have resulted in huge reductions in biodiversity. This in turn means viruses lose their natural hosts and migrate to creatures, which in certain regions could find their way into the human food chain.

Let’s summarise that for a moment; Environmental damage is reported to significantly contribute to pandemics and over time this has a marked impact on consumers taking environmental damage much more seriously.

So, what is Ruddocks’ take on the cumulative outcome?

1. Consumer attitudes shift and their appetite for more sustainable products and services incrementally increase and personal ethics begins to play a much bigger role in purchasing decisions.

2. Suppliers and manufacturers who invest time and resources into offering more sustainable solutions bounce back better AND faster.

3. Investment in sustainability brings about both innovation and an improvement in efficiency and waste reduction. As such, sustainability should be seen as an investment and not a cost.

For Ruddocks as a business and for the many clients we work with, this provides the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate values, find the positives and focus more intensively on sustainability.

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We look at some tips for ‘future-proofing’ your business and ‘building back better’ post-COVID

Optimise your brand voice

Recent events might just provide the perfect opportunity to take stock and reassess your brand values, to ensure that they’re articulated throughout your messaging. If the pandemic has re-ignited your commitment to sustainability, for example, this should be communicated at every touch point.

The only way to do this effectively is to dive deeper to unearth your brand’s ‘truth’. Take yourself out of the ‘echo chamber’ and involve all supply partners and stakeholders (internal and external) in the process to get a meaningful outside view of what your organisation’s social and environmental standpoint really means to them, as well as you. You might be surprised at what you discover!

Make a difference to your customers’ lives

Customers want to buy from ethical brands that are willing to follow through on their marketing promises and make a difference. Look for ways to support your clients and customers, the wider community and, of course your staff and ensure that you’re sharing your commitment to sustainability through your marketing efforts.

Review your sustainability efforts

Over the past year, consumers have become even more aware of sustainability issues and the far-reaching implications of not taking adequate care of the planet and its people.

According to a research project by the Capgemini Research Institute from July 2003, “79% of consumers are changing their purchase preferences based on social responsibility, inclusiveness, or environmental impact.”

Therefore, it’s more important than ever to review your sustainability efforts and make improvements to reach these potential customers. This doesn’t necessarily mean transforming your entire brand to an eco-friendly version of its former self, just making those small changes that have a big impact.

This could be as simple as offering more eco-friendly versions of your current products and services and again, sharing these decisions with your customers via your marketing campaigns.

Interested in reading more articles like this one?

Reducing environmental impact is a collaborative approach; we are all working towards the same common goal. We are equally committed to helping our clients with their sustainability journeys as we are our own and as such we have produced a guide full of practical hints, tips, articles and stories to help make your marketing and communications more sustainable.

To get your copy of our sustainability guide please head over to: