Environmental awareness is now considered the most defining trait of the contemporary consumer. As people increasingly embrace social causes, gravitate around clean products, and sustainable choices, they seek brands, products, and services that will align with their values and lifestyle.
As it should, sustainability goes straight to the heart of dealing with pressing global issues and crisis, one of which being environmental deterioration: It looks like we are all going to bear the costs for the overexploitation of the planet’s resources.
At Pioneers, we strive to make clean choices and avoid wasteful practices while trying to incorporate sustainability into our mission, strategy, and operations. There’s no shortcut to becoming a sustainable company, but we are slowly and steadily making steps towards this goal.
When we talk about retail transformation, we’re mapping out how retail is changing and, most importantly, how the customer mindset and expectations are shifting.
According to an IBM study, six in ten consumers are now willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact. Eight in ten respondents indicate sustainability is essential for them, with 70% willing to pay more for sustainable and environmentally responsible brands. As counterintuitively as it may sound, sustainability priorities go beyond age and generations. While Millennials may be leading the change in sustainability awareness, every age group indicates that sustainability, environmental, and personal wellness attributes are significant considerations in selecting brands.
In describing the status-quo of retail, the latest Shoplifter edition writes „Brands are expected to create tech-savvy, authentic, merchant-driven, sustainably built, design-centric shopping experiences for their customers. Needless to say, it’s a lot.“ We recognise the pressure for brands - as sustainability becomes a vital part of the consumers’ decision-making process, there’s a sense of urgency to brands and retailers to adapt and meet the consumers’ expectations.
From design to material choice, from product and brand stories to customer experiences, retail has still to prove its commitment to sustainability. We see it as an opportunity for brands to create a new competitive edge and to build respect, trust, and loyalty, especially with purpose-driven consumers. All over the world and across generations, a more sustainable attitude is driving brand choice. Consumers want assurances that brands support recycling, are involved in charitable causes or are making efforts to demonstrate social responsibility and empathy towards others; with the keyword being demonstrate.
At Pioneers, we take a broad approach to sustainability.
For our clients’ work, we consider a more thoughtful approach to briefs and make good choices for the planet. In designing the customer experience, we use a modular mindset and practice less-waste thinking. When sourcing the materials and the fabrics we need, we always look for clean suppliers and high-quality. In terms of production, transportation, delivery, our Production Facility had been reorganised to accommodate clean processes and had been equipped with machinery and tools that are up for the job. Our team of distinctive, dedicated craftsmen is up to date with sustainable workflows and is excellent at operating state-of-the-art machinery.
We know that in our line of business, the biggest problem is waste. Whenever possible, we reuse, repurpose, or recycle the materials that we use in the installations. We have ongoing partnerships with Reciclage, Einzigware Caritas, and Meinhardt who support us by either disposing of the waste in a nature-friendly way, according to the current regulations, or make up new products from our advertising materials.
You can learn more about our approach and sustainable materials offer by checking our full offer here.
Internally, we support ideas and efforts to make our practices less wasteful: 80% of our employees bike to work every day. We have implemented an accessible infrastructure for SWC and are moving towards being a paperless company. We introduced measures to reduce the energy consumption of the IT infrastructure by choosing clean suppliers. We purchase energy and water-efficient equipment, use reusable packaging, and regularly use plastic-free packaging.
We provide sustainability trainings to employees as an essential step towards creating a culture of empathy and respect towards people and nature. Being concerned with our planet's well-being, we regularly debate about environmental issues and how we, as individuals, can change our habits for the better. Since 2017, we have been supporting Sea Shepherd in their effort to clean the oceans from debris and protect marine life. Since 2018, we have been sponsoring a wildlife sanctuary in Germany.
Sustainability is a very complicated matter, and we are aware of how intimidating the process can be, both for the brands we are working with and for us. Given the challenge, we feel energetic and motivated to explore creative solutions that are sensible towards the planet and the people who inhabit it. Our purpose is to work with nature and not against it - we want to make a profit, but not at the expense of the planet.
l.e. In August 2020, we received the bronze certification from EcoVadis, the world’s most trusted business sustainability ratings. We're aiming for gold.