The potential of green brands

Sustainability is a do-good issue? Not at all, argue experts from the Boston Consulting Group. Their study proves it: Those who go green now can outpace the competition for years to come.

The transition to a climate-neutral economy could succeed much faster than previously assumed - and the pioneering companies of today could be among the big winners of tomorrow. This is the result of a study by the Boston Consulting Group. According to the study, the potential of sustainable business is widely underestimated.

"The potential of green markets is far greater than is often assumed," explains BCG partner Jens Burchardt.

»Those who decarbonise products and supply chains early on can often realise pioneering profits.«

The willingness of citizens to pay more for sustainable products is higher than assumed. According to surveys, only about ten percent of them are willing to accept higher prices as long as it is about "saving the world". However, if manufacturers can prove that their products are also healthier or safer, the share of consumers willing to pay increases to up to 43 percent. As a result, sales of green products are currently growing two and a half times as fast as business with conventional goods.

And this does not only apply to consumer-oriented products such as organic food or electric cars. Green steel, for example, which many car companies need to achieve their climate targets, can currently only be supplied by one Swedish company, and that is booked up for years. The BCG researchers identify similar shortages for a variety of green materials, from aluminium to paper to plastics. Chemical or basic material producers that "move early" can "hope for a strong market position", the study says.

One of the prime examples of successful brand transformation, according to the study authors, is Rügenwalder Mühle. Ten years ago, the traditional meat processing company from Lower Saxony made a kamikaze move to vegetable proteins - and today earns more with vegetarian Mortadella & Co than with animal sausage. The market share of the Lower Saxons: over 40 % for meat substitutes. Former brand manager and veggie pioneer Godo Röben reports here on how the turnaround came about and what was important in the transformation.

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Harald Willenbrock

Head of Concept & Content