The Sustainability Imperative

Building Sustainable societies and organisations requires giving attention today to those practices that will ensure viability long-term.

Ipsos understands the context but also the challenges to responding to the Sustainability imperative. As a member ourselves of the UN Global Compact, we also engage in reporting in our practices and are focused on how we can work toward the targets established around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Ipsos has recently released the first in our series of guiding principles for taking action on Sustainability. Designed for businesses, our POV helps businesses prioritise and focus. Future editions will focus on the public sector and specific areas of priority.

The sustainability imperative | Ipsos

Ipsos has a systematic and consistent approach
to measuring corporate performance on Sustainability.
Using the core pillars of environment, social and governance,
we put companies in a head to head situation and
measure imperative – the need to take action now.


For our clients, we work across our service lines to address the scope of issues and questions that may be raised in working toward Sustainability across the pillars of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG). We apply our capabilities and have developed clear points of view and leadership in specific areas of priorities.

Issues and Context

A key element of Sustainability is measuring the priorities and trends in societies and the impact on perception and expectations of organisations. We work with clients and conduct leadership studies on issues such as climate changes and the circular economy to enable insights and informed recommendations. We are pleased to work with leading businesses such as ING and Tetra Pak on how citizens and consumers are reacting on issues such as the Circular Economy and Health behaviours.

Ipsos uses a set of data sources including social media to understand trends and context.

Earth Day 2020 | Sustainability | Ipsos Circular Economy: Consumers seek help | Ipsos | ING the convergence of health & environment | TETRA PAK | Ipsos

Understanding the Citizen Consumer & the Say-Do Gap

Now – more than ever – the values of us as citizens flow through our wallets to consumer behaviour.

We also are acutely aware of the phenomenon of those who say they are willing to action and those that do. This Say-Do Gap, otherwise known as the Value-Actions Gap, is often referenced as a key challenge for all our clients working in sustainability.

Historically, brands and governments have focused their efforts and influencing people’s behaviour to close the say-do gap. This means they tend to focus on ‘nudge behaviour’, where positive enforcement and indirect suggestions are used to influence behaviour. However, the complexity of the sustainability topic means that people need more than just nudges. Ipsos challenges this perspective and asks governments and businesses to consider the role they directly play in closing the gap. An emphasis on helping people navigate this space through tackling key barriers should be prioritised over nudges alone. Often, navigation requires attention to consumer facing products and packaging – what is in the pack and how it is labelled. Ipsos has extensive experience and points of view on how clients can take action.

Clean, Green and Affordable | Sustanable packaging | Hygiene | Coronavirus | Ipsos The third moment of truth | Ipsos A wasted opportunity | sustainability | Ipsos

Dirty Fashion disrupted - Leaders and laggards revealed | Ipsos

Brand Purpose

Addressing sustainability often goes to the heart of a brand and its purpose. Ipsos can help organisations redefine or adapt their brand purpose to align with the sustainability objectives of the business.

Sustainability and brand purpose | Global Trends | Ipsos

Corporate Reputation and Stakeholder Relations

Companies that take sustainability actions which are authentic, credible and effective are the most likely to see reputational gains from these activities. Sustainability impacts a broad set of stakeholders including investors, regulators, employees and influencers all the way to consumers. Ipsos' Corporate Reputation expertise helps clients determine actions that are authentic, credible and effective and to understand the impact of their actions.

Taking a stand in the age of Covid-19 | Coronavirus | Ipsos

Evaluation and Impact

Demonstrating action and providing evidence of success is increasingly important to the communications around Sustainability. Studies that delve into outcomes contribute to credibility and proof of commitment for consumers but also for investors and other stakeholders.

Case study: Ipsos is Mondelēz’ third-party evaluator. Together, they have mapped how Cocoa Life is progressing toward the goal of sustainably sourcing all cocoa by supporting farmers and their communities, while addressing climate change, women’s empowerment, and child labor in key cocoa-producing countries.

Society