2023: A year for sustainable digital marketing and advertising

It’s safe to say that sustainability is now an universal theme that neither companies nor agencies can afford to ignore.

Sustainability encompasses not only going green in physical business needs, but also to meet social demands such as equality, inclusion, and well-being.
Customers are delivering a strong message to marketers about sustainability, according to many studies published during the Coronavirus lockdown, and the pandemic has just hardened public perceptions.

In a worldwide survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group in July 2020, 70% of respondents indicated they were more aware today than before COVID-19 that human activity was endangering the climate, and that environmental degradation, in turn, endangered humanity.

What is Sustainable Marketing?

Sustainable marketing focuses on messaging that encourages ecologically friendly or clean commodities, or on efforts taken by corporations to avoid placing profit over the planet.

You’ve witnessed sustainable marketing if you have ever thought of paying more for anything because you know it was produced locally, or it’s 100 percent biodegradable, or it’s made from recycled polymers or similar scrap material.

Why sustainable marketing in 2022?


Worldwide competition is underway to create new sustainable technology, launch new businesses, and attract private investment. Businesses that seize the advantages of the global green industrial revolution will experience unrivaled development and prosperity for decades to come, and so will the countries the businesses are part of. In 2022 and beyond, many business leaders predict that disclosure of organizational ESG (environmental, social, and governance) efforts will be a top issue for company executives. Further, the need for data and more transparency to allow better management is a key concern of many business analysts.

Public Scrutiny

As public knowledge of environmental concerns grows, so does criticism of so-called “greenwashing” in advertising, in which businesses spend money on commercials that deceive the public about their environmental credentials.

The Advertising Standards Authority in the United Kingdom said in September that it will initiate investigations into environmental claims made by firms in areas such as energy, trash, and transportation, as well as commission research into carbon-neutral and net-zero pledges made in commercials.

India is seeing an identical pattern, with governments attempting to seem more environmentally conscious, and a surge in sustainability thinkers who are out to call out businesses for their greenwashing. In such a case, why wouldn’t you want to market sustainability consciously?

Indian markets lucrative for sustainability
In 2022, we have a “green budget” of sorts. This year’s budget is focused on renewable energy, with the highest budget allocation in the environmental space for the transition to cleaner fuels. Now, this may or may not translate into action, but consumers in India have changed their habits as well.

According to a latest survey by consultancy Bain & Company, at least 60% of Indian customers are prepared to pay a premium for “sustainable products,” and 52% of urban Indians intend to boost spending on environmentally friendly companies in the next three years. However, a lack of comprehension, a high price, challenges with availability, and a lack of long-term choices are presently preventing purchase completion.

With a stronger visibility following COP26, younger audiences are becoming more engaged with environmental issues, and consumers are demanding that representation in advertising be recognised; and digital marketing must deliver.