Sustainability Made Mainstream
Top takeaways for brands from our latest MasterConnect event
David Blackmore, SVP of Sales, P&G Canada Kathleen McLaughlin, EVP & Chief Sustainibility Officer Walmart & President of Walmart Foundation
Master Connect - Impactful Thought Leadership
Sustainability is what everyone is talking about, but just what can brands do to be both a force for growth and a force for good? Kirsten Evans, EVP of Customer Office for Walmart Canada sat down with David Blackmore, SVP of Sales for P&G Canada, and Kathleen McLaughlin, EVP and Chief Sustainability Officer for Walmart and President of Walmart Foundation, to discuss the ways brands can turn up the volume on their sustainability success.
#1- Sustainability encompasses more.

As the sustainability dialogue has evolved over the years, so too has the working definition of what it means to be truly sustainable. The biggest brands are looking at addressing our world from a variety of perspectives. By carefully considering each category, and tailoring solutions to meet each one specifically, there is the potential for a much bigger impact on sustainability initiatives.

Brand tip:
Break down your sustainability efforts by category. Spot successes and leverage your strengths to impact potentially untapped opportunities.
#2- Consumers are looking for better.

As more consumers are in touch with sustainability practices in their everyday lives, they are searching for the products that meet their needs. The most successful brands are meeting their target audience demands by focusing on planet saving initiatives. Beyond the bottom line, even the best sustainability practices can’t have the desired impact if brands don’t work with the consumers they serve. With most sustainable habits taking place inside people’s homes, we truly need to work with our audience to find success.

Brand tip:
Assess your brand from the consumer perspective. Do you offer irresistible superiority in terms of your sustainability initiatives?
#3- Partnerships Make Sustainability Efforts Most Successful.

The best path forward to a sustainable future is when we work together. Business, philanthropic agencies, scientists, and individuals must be strategically aligned. Whether it be through making additional business partnerships or by working with scientists to create science-based sustainability targets, it’s imperative that all hands are on deck. By working together, we can use our talents and offerings in strategic ways to create more sustainable success.

Brand tip:
Review what categories of your sustainability efforts might best be served by working with another organization.
#4- Communicate sustainability clearly.

Of course, some of the most important stakeholders are the consumers. We need to be on the same page with those who use the products and share just how to use, reuse, and recycle them correctly. To do just that, brands need to share the stories of sustainability. While science-backed sustainability efforts are powerful, making messaging clear to consumers is how we fully engage our audience in change-making shifts. Strategically packaged goods is one way Walmart is working to share the message.

Brand tip:
Work to share the message of sustainability with your audience in concise and meaningful ways. Leveraging Walmart Connect’s omnichannel ad solutions is an effective way to communicate sustainability during those crucial moments that matter in the customer journey.
#5- It’s a work in progress.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that while brands are continuing to work tirelessly on aggressive sustainability goals and initiatives, it will still take time. Sustainability is not an overnight success story. It takes every brand, every person, to make incremental shifts towards sustainable practices for us to see real success. By setting strategic and science-backed goals, we can all move the needle forward towards a sustainable future.

Brand tip:
Set science-backed sustainability goals and work to reach them over time. Creating checkpoints on these goals will keep your brand’s sustainability mission in mind and allow for shifts in strategy if progress is not being made.
Bringing it all Together

The most successful brands are learning that reaching sustainability targets means getting everyone on the same page. Internal efforts are most successful when matched with strategic external communication and education. The goal is not to have consumers simply pick the sustainable options, but rather, to empower consumers with an entire shelf of planet-protecting products.

Invest in sustainability and Walmart Connect will too.
By using our large platform for positive world change, we can have a tremendous impact. Contact your sales representative to book your sustainability campaign and learn more about our no-cost homepage* placement offer for your brand’s sustainability messaging.

*Available for new programs only with a minimum spend of $35K. Availability is limited (first come, first serve). Terms of this offer are subject to change at Walmart’s discretion.