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Namrata Zala

September 8, 2023

Solving Environmental Woes with Innovative Carbon Solutions: A Look into Tweak Carbon's Perspective

The escalating global concerns surrounding climate change have put businesses in the spotlight as drivers of environmental impact. However, a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reveals that consumers are struggling to adopt more sustainable habits, even when corporates are trying to facilitate them. This blog post delves into the challenges faced by consumers and the role of businesses in promoting sustainability. We will also explore how our platform Tweak, a powerful carbon accounting solution, aims to address these challenges and pave the way for a greener future.

Consumer Challenges in Embracing Sustainability:

The study conducted by BCG highlights some critical reasons why consumers find it difficult to embrace more sustainable habits:

  • Cost: Sustainable products and services often come with a higher price tag due to their production processes, and the fact that sustainable products are often marked as premium, making them less accessible for consumers on a tight budget. 
  • Convenience: Non-sustainable options are usually more convenient than their sustainable counterparts. For instance, driving to the store could be more tempting than walking or biking. Grocery options in some areas may be limited, along with sustainable clothing and home products; often, individuals are likely to prefer what is easily available.
  • Lack of Information: Many consumers are unaware of the environmental impact of their choices and struggle to find sustainable alternatives. The jargon and discourse around the topic can be perceived as confusing by consumers, making it difficult to understand the impact of the products and services that they choose to purchase. 
  • Social Pressure: Traditional consumption patterns and societal norms can exert pressure on consumers to conform to less sustainable practices, even if they prefer more eco-friendly options. For example, if someone’s entire family is firm on keeping meat as part of their core diet, it may be hard to switch to a plant-based diet. The study found that the social and psychological barrier is a major challenge across multiple categories. This is because people are often reluctant to change deeply rooted habits and a desire to fit in and conform to social norms.

Business Solutions to Help Foster Sustainable Habits:

The result of this is a notable 'say-do' gap - a distinction between the percentage of individuals claiming to prioritise sustainability and climate change, and those who are actively bringing about positive changes in their consumption habits. This dissonance poses a substantial challenge, especially for corporates who need their consumers to purchase green goods in order for them to meet their footprint reduction targets.

Fixing the problem involves creating offerings grounded in a deep understanding of customer needs and motivations, and adopting strategies to change buying patterns. Such an effort is critical. Real change will happen only when sustainable options win adoption by mainstream customers and not just by a niche subset of purchasers; the Tweak platform is geared towards this.

How Tweak Can Help Nudge Employees

As a gamified carbon accounting platform created to promote informed, sustainable consumption behaviours, Tweak can help resolve the obstacles preventing consumers - and consequently businesses - from embracing sustainability. The platform focuses on affordability, convenience, education and recognition to help businesses promote sustainable living to their consumers.

Though overcoming entrenched habits and social conformity present formidable challenges, Tweak aligns with the BCG report's four-part framework, enabling companies to guide consumer behaviour towards sustainability. The crux lies in communicating how eco-conscious choices fulfil fundamental customer needs and preferences, encompassing quality, convenience, value, taste, and well-being without compromising what consumers typically value.

How Tweak’s platform implements the four-part framework described by BCG:

Focus: The current challenge revolves around making sustainable choices more readily accessible to individuals. In creating a directory comprising over 100 sustainable small businesses in South Africa, Tweak repositions green alternatives as the first option against other less sustainable alternatives.

Uplift: People need to be rewarded and incentivised to make eco-friendly decisions through public gestures that underscore their sustainability impact and broader customer benefits; to tackle this, Tweak has a rewards programme through their partnerships with sustainable SMEs, providing conscious consumers with exclusive perks for engaging in sustainable consumption. Moreover, the platform features a leaderboard, allowing users to engage in friendly competition with their peers whilst climbing the ranks and receiving recognition for taking steps towards a sustainable lifestyle.

Simplify: Individuals should grasp the concepts of sustainability, distinguishing between sustainable and non-sustainable choices, and perceive the default option as the sustainable one. Tweak’s carbon accounting engine enables people to know the footprint of their purchases by allowing them to link their transactional data information onto the platform. This allows people to develop an intuition about the carbon footprint of what they consume, subsequently making buying eco-conscious goods easier. Additionally, by providing users with a directory of sustainable businesses - among other practical features - the platform pushes sustainable approaches and options as the default choice.

Educate: People lack information about the climate, resource conservation, and consumer benefits tied to sustainable choices. Tweak serves as a reliable information hub for subjects related to sustainability, and also encourages the adoption of environmentally-friendly habits; the carbon accounting feature enlightens consumers about the consequences of their consumption patterns. Additionally, the '21 Day Journey' feature, grounded in the belief that habits form in twenty-one days, educates users on enjoyable and gamified sustainable living practices.

While the challenges consumers face in adopting sustainable habits are substantial, businesses can be instrumental in creating a more sustainable future. Tweak's robust platform empowers businesses to engage and educate consumers, customise sustainability plans, and track progress toward greener practices. By embracing these tools and strategies, businesses can pave the way for a more sustainable world, benefiting both their bottom line and the environment, subsequently narrowing the ‘say-do’ gap as mentioned in the BCG reports as fundamental consumer needs when regarding sustainable living are answered to.

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