Does your brand get the green light with new ‘eco-scores’?

With a new eco-friendly traffic light system on food and drinks packaging being launched in the UK this autumn, how much impact is it likely to have on consumer purchasing decisions?

Organised by the new non-profit organisation, Foundation Earth  a pilot in September will see a range of food and drink carrying a front-of-packaging ‘eco-score’ for the first time. The new score will rank the environmental impact of each item, allowing customers to easily assess whether they are buying products that have a low-carbon footprint from suppliers focussed on sustainability.

Expected to shake up the supply chains of the food and drinks industry, the main aim of the new labels is to also encourage producers to be more innovative in helping reduce their environmental impact. Currently it’s estimated that food production is responsible for up to 37% of greenhouse gases that without intervention is likely to increase by 30% by 2050 due to population growth.

With 45% of UK shoppers claiming they are actively interested in buying products that are better for the environment, the rise of the conscious consumer isn’t set to slow down any time soon. If the pilot proves successful, this may result in a seismic shift that could see brands forced to include eco scores on packaging for the foreseeable, having a huge impact on future consumer marketing and saleability.

Here’s three things brands should consider when the September pilot kicks in:

BE ACCOUNTABLE: the new eco-scoring system is likely to drive industry and consumer conversation and brands should be prepared to answer on their own ‘eco-scores,’ whether or not they are taking part in the pilot. A clear comms strategy needs to be in place should consumers and industry bodies ask for more information. It’s important brands are accountable for the environmental impact of products to minimise any damage to brand reputation.

SHARE YOUR SCORES: If the pilot is successful, it’s likely the system will be rolled out wider with an expectation, or even legislation, for all brands to take part. Whether your score is good or bad, it’s important not to shy away and proactively share your score. A good score could mean a powerful green accreditation that should be utilised in consumer communications. A bad score however, could mean a negative backlash that could be minimised by getting on the front foot, being honest and showing consumers how you plan to do better.

PREPARE FOR A GREENER FUTURE: if brands aren’t already preparing for a greener future -they need to, and fast. Consumers are seeing the impact of climate change first-hand and want to do their bit to help combat it. Brands should be outlining their roadmap to a greener future and communicating their commitment to sustainability in a clear and succinct way. You don’t have to solve it overnight, but consumers do need to see progress and an end goal, especially if the new eco-score says you aren’t hitting the mark right now.

Get in touch today for more information of how we could help your food or drinks brand maintain consumer appeal and navigate a more sustainable future to be proud of.

Get in touch with the team