After this pandemic, there's a bigger crisis brands need to prepare for...

Julia Marks
Earth day hero

This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 190+ countries and amidst a global pandemic, nonetheless. This day will look vastly different than it did in the previous 50: grounded planes, restricted travel, industrial activity shutdowns, shelter-in-place, and so much more.

The silver lining of the pandemic shutdown we didn't necessarily expect was the immediate impact it would have on reducing our carbon footprint. Brands, influencers, and governments around the world urged everyone to #stayathome and the effects were positive, both anticipated, slowing the number of hospitalizations, and unanticipated, slowing the rate of human contribution to Earth's depletion of natural resources.

As rapidly as the virus spread across the globe, brands scrambled at the same rate to pivot pre-COVID-19 strategies to match and predict changing consumer behavior. With the outpouring of new information on how staying at home has benefited our natural ecosystem, it's vital now more than ever for brands to consider sustainability as a key strategy moving forward.

Carbon emissions from fossil fuels could fall by 2.5 billion metric tons this year — the largest drop on record. via The Guardian

In Hall & Partners' SUSTAIN campaign, we note that brands have the opportunity and influence to encourage consumers to change their behavior to be more sustainable. In a world that has already seen drastic shifts in consumer behavior in the right direction of sustainability, brands should use their platform to encourage consumers to keep it up even after the eye of the pandemic subsides.

But still, why now? The answer is simple: a sustainable platform is future-proof. It will go a long way to pull at the heartstrings of consumers, who will be more open to this message than in the past. This will remain true as COVID-19 restrictions continue to unearth in all of us little ways we're seeing the world differently.

The message is out there and already making headlines.

Sustainability isn't a new strategy or a trend that is likely to go away. There's a strong case to be made that what once were vague commitments need to become central to the way brands interact with consumers as consistent messaging moving forward.

About 3 million people die each year from ailments caused by air pollution, and that more than 80% of people living in urban areas are exposed to air quality levels that exceed safe limits.

The World Health Organization

The current communication out there that seems to be on repeat is that your brand understands what it is consumers are going through and you're there to help in this time of uncertainty. As this message quickly grows stale, consider speaking to what is certain, the future of our planet, and what your brand and its consumers can do to help continue any eco-friendly habits we've picked up during quarantine.

All of our efforts thus far have contributed to a more sustainable future. How will your brand be part of shaping the meaningful conversation around sustainability that is more relevant now than ever?