Why Being Green Isn't Enough

Why Being Green Isn't Enough



Sandrine Martin

The Importance of Value, Fun, and Simplicity
Why Being Green Isn't Enough: The Importance of Value, Fun, and Simplicity

Companies face intense pressure to improve their environmental practices, so much that some must rethink their entire business model. Fast-fashion, automobile, and agriculture are just a few examples of industries that are currently going through a radical transformation to reduce their carbon footprint.

I am interested in understanding the benefits of adopting green initiatives for companies. What is their return on investment? I looked at BrandAsset Valuator® (BAV) data, the world’s largest study of brands, to investigate if being eco-friendly drives brand and business growth. The results were interesting, yet surprising.

I found that being eco-conscious on its own is not a key driver of brand growth. In fact, there is no correlation between Brand Equity and being perceived as “Committed to the Environment” 1 among the general population or among younger generations like Millennials & Gen Z.

Going Green

In the BAV model, we have 48 consistent imagery attributes that all brands are measured with, and I discovered that the 100 brands that receive the strongest rating on the imagery attribute "Committed to the Environment" in BAV are less used and considered than the other brands, and they lag the most on perceptions of “Good Value”, “Fun” and “Simple”. Even among higher income households (HHI>100K), the top 100 “Committed to the Environment” brands are seen as less “Good Value” than the other brands measured in our study. Simply put, this suggests that consumers tend to prioritize value, fun and simplicity over environment when choosing a brand.

I know that these results are not the most convincing to pitch a green initiative at your next Executive Leadership Meeting, but they bring up important questions. From a business standpoint, how do we make environmental-friendly brands sound more “Good Value”, “Simple” and “Fun”? In other words, how do we make these brands more accessible to the general population?

It's all About Priorities

Additionally, we need to ask ourselves a bigger question as a society: If we prioritize short-term business results over sustainability, what kind of world are we leaving behind? Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder and former CEO, shares an interesting perspective:

"Who are businesses really responsible to? Their customers? Shareholders? Employees? We would argue that it’s none of the above. Fundamentally, businesses are responsible to their resource base. Without a healthy environment, there are no shareholders, no employees, no customers, and no business.2

Earth Day is Every Day

As we celebrate Earth on April 22nd, it is important to be reminded that nature is more powerful than anything else. In our day-to-day lives, we tend to forget that there is something so much bigger and so much more powerful than us. Just recently, as I was watching the total solar eclipse, I couldn’t help but realize how fragile we are in the enormity of the universe. We should keep that in mind the next time we pitch a new green initiative.


Data Source: BAV Syndicated, USA, Full Year 2023, All Adults, Millennials & Gen Z (Adults under 40).


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Author: Sandrine Martin, Associate Director

Sandrine is an Associate Director, Strategy & Insights at BAV Group. She joined the team after finishing a master’s degree in social and consumer psychology at New York University. She is a detailed-oriented thinker who loves exploring the hidden meaning in data to uncover why consumers behave as they do.

Originally from Canada, Sandrine holds a trilingual bachelor of commerce degree in marketing from HEC Montreal and has worked for three years as an account manager at lg2, a leading Canadian advertising agency. While there, she gained experience in an array of industries, including food and beverage, retail, and tourism.

In her spare time, Sandrine enjoys cooking as well as sharing a good meal with family and friends. She also loves art galleries, Chef’s Table, and maple syrup—as the true Canadian she is!

Connect with Sandrine on LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/sandrine-martin



11 of 48 imagery attributes we evaluate brands on in the BAV study
2Chouinard, Yvon. Let My People Go Surfing : the Education of a Reluctant Businessman. New York: Penguin, 2006.

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