Report: Marketers Continue To Lag Significantly On Sustainability Front

Just in time for WFA Global Marketer Week in Istanbul (April 25-28), the World Federation of Advertisers is issuing a new report that shows marketers are lagging behind other business areas on the sustainability front.  

The report is a joint effort by WFA and Kantar’s Sustainable Transformation Practice. It’s based on survey responses from 938 client-side marketers worldwide as well as interviews with dozens of Global CMOs and sustainability experts. 

The report seems to indicate that marketers are talking the talk on the issue, but not walking the walk.



For example, 94% say marketers must act more “bravely” and experiment to drive transformative change. But fewer than half (43%) have sustainability as a KPI in their marketing dashboards. 

Lots of excuses were offered by respondents for the lagging performance, including “capability gaps.”

Others cited lack of internal resources, organizational mindsets and perceived costs and the lack of a “P&L policy that protects the planet.” A lack of standardized measurement was also cited by many. 

The report, “Sustainable Marketing 2030,” offers a circular marketing framework to help marketers think differently about how they might focus on goals that are compatible with sustainability. 

“We have reached the point where the status quo is no longer an option,” said Stephan Loerke, WFA CEO. “Radical transformation is essential.” The report, he adds, “focuses on how marketers can drive growth while embracing the sustainability agenda.”  

Ozlem Senturk, senior partner, sustainable transformation practice, Kantar, adds: "It’s remarkable that even though 94% of marketers are willing to be brave to drive transformative change, organizations still behave in the same way. Our benchmark aims to provide marketing organizations with a compass to assess where they are and help them take the first steps towards the right direction.”  


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