Rimpie Panjwani
Rimpie is Mintel's Senior Beauty Analyst based in Mumbai. She specialises in analysing and providing insights on India’s beauty and personal care market and consumer trends.

Ethical and moral brand qualities are fast becoming expectations as consumers look for companies to be charitable, ethical or environmentally responsible at both India and global levels. Hindustan Unilever, through its ‘Start A Little Good’ campaign, aims to raise awareness of the pressing environmental issues India is currently facing.

As a result, the company has launched numerous initiatives that address hygiene and sanitation related issues across the country. These include rainwater harvesting, the creation of thousands of job opportunities in remote villages (especially for women) and the setting up of waste management and recycling systems to curb plastic waste from polluting the oceans.

Furthermore, the campaign also urges citizens to make little changes in their daily lives that will make a sizeable impact across their societies.

Source: hul.co.in

Mintel Trend ‘Moral Brand’ explores how consumers don’t need to spend time or money being ethical when the moral brand can do it on their behalf. It discusses how a brand’s corporate social responsibility or a product’s ethical origins can act as a differentiator or even a deal breaker.

Given a choice, consumers will increasingly opt for the ethical or moral brand, and in some cases, pay more money for these qualities. Mintel research reveals that one in four Indian consumers say that they are motivated to live a natural lifestyle to support environmentally conscious businesses. Consumers are also making informed choices in this regard and scrutinising the credentials of companies.

Tackling environmental pollution through innovation

Hindustan Unilever, along with its partners, is working towards providing innovative solutions to help address the challenge of plastic waste. It claims that it’s managed to reduce its factory waste by 54%, and collected and safely disposed of more than 1,800 tonnes of plastic laminates under this initiative.

Globally, Unilever claims to be actively supporting the cause of recycling plastic as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes. For example, Unilever Colombia has teamed up with retail company Grupo Éxito to encourage consumers to recycle empty packaging at different drop-off points throughout Éxito outlets. Consumers have access to over 30 drop-off points across Colombia where they can bring everything from deodorant cans to plastic containers to recycle.

Additionally, companies across the world are also making it a top priority to reduce their carbon footprint. Some of the world’s biggest food and drink companies have signed the New Plastic Economy Global Commitment to reduce plastic pollution. This aims to unite businesses, governments and organisations to address plastic waste and pollution at its source.

Due to heightened awareness, consumers are now worried about the planet’s resources, and plastic pollution is one of the most common concerns. They are adapting their consumption habits to be more environmentally friendly. Today, consumers sit up and notice brands that go out and talk about how they support environmental causes. The topic of environment protection can undoubtedly help build stronger engagement between brands and consumers.