(image courtesy of JD)
I’ve posted before on my view that one of the key brand battlegrounds for 2007 (notably for retail) will be the environment. Following M & S’s broad-reaching environmental and ethical programme announced a couple of weeks ago, Tesco have now sent reinforcements to their environmental credentials by announcing that it will invest nearly £500m to combat climate change. It intends to devise a ‘carbon calorie counter’ that will allow shoppers to opt for a low-carbon lifestyle. In a speech entitled "Green grocer? Tesco, carbon and the consumer", Sir Terry said the group would donate £5m a year to help fund academic research into greener consumption, reward customers who buy organic, Fairtrade and biodegradable items with extra ‘green’ loyalty card points, sell more energy-efficient products through its Value range, and double the proportion of biofuels the group sells over the next 12 months.
I wonder if we really have reached the tipping point. The BBC have just reported from the World Economic forum at Davos that the environment is not only a key topic, it is the topic. Whereas once it was veneer, ‘this year it feels different’.
This could be the pivotal year. If large numbers of brands are suddenly rushing to establish their green credentials, differentiation will be difficult. Are consumers ready for it?