Perks of a pandemic
Never waste a good crisis
There is not a lot to love about COVID-19. It’s a terrible virus that has held the world in its grip for nearly a year now. But we have found a few upsides, and we’re here for them. The biggest one being the almost fabled ability of people to rise above their individual needs to support the greater good. Somehow, we managed to limit our freedoms, our travel, our fun to help better the world.
And interestingly enough, this had a direct impact on the environment. For the first time in decades, we could see the Himalayan peaks, and fish—even dolphins—in the canals of Venice. Although this is great, these were mostly temporary reliefs for the environment with minimal long term benefits.
The one thing that could impact our course permanently, however, according to researchers specialized in evolutionary development, is ‘that the individualist age is coming to an end, making way for a period of compassion and desire to work together.’
Power to the people
The pandemic made the Dutch more aware than ever of the consequences of climate change. For example, no less than 80 per cent think that we should be more considerate with the climate and more than half are willing to permanently adjust their own travel behaviour to achieve this. This is a remarkable feat. How is it possible? We’ve known the facts for ages, yet people weren’t so inclined to change their behaviour. It probably has something to do with how our brain reacts to information that goes against what we believe. Facts aren’t the most effective way to influence a person’s point of view. Emotion, even fear, is apparently much more effective. And if Corona did grant one thing, it was bringing up lots of emotions.
One of the results is that consumers are telling brands they want them to get on the eco-bandwagon, reduce all kinds of waste, and close the loop. Sustainability has become a sexy word (try whispering it, sounds good!) and green is the new black. Brands like Nike have followed this lead with their ‘Move to Zero Journey’, which they showcase in their new house of innovation store in Paris. But retail isn’t the only business to embrace a move towards sustainability. Hotels and restaurants are also looking at ways to appeal to their ecological minded customers.
Green — are you in?
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Brands have the power to propel this movement forward, to have an impact and to lead the charge. So we want to ask you… are you with us?