Join the IRG Community

Join the IRG Community

Published on: 05 December 2022

A proposed role for CMOs on climate change

The number of marketers in the IRG program who are driving sustainability has been increasing over the years. Evidently, being the eyes and ears of the organization, CMOs are well-positioned to speak for their stakeholders and encourage their organizations to tackle the climate crisis. One of them is Paula Alexander, IRG participant 2022 and Sr. Director of Sustainability at the Clorox Company. The company ranks the second most sustainable company in America and has set ambitious sustainability goals like reducing virgin materials in their packaging by 50% by 2030. To get there, the company has also introduced new mechanisms, such as implementing refills, so the company relies less on plastic and consumers waste less. Paula recently shared an empowering article from marketingweek, which elaborates on the potential role of CMOs on climate change.

“Companies can no longer treat climate change solely as a matter of corporate responsibility or a branding opportunity. Responding to and preparing for climate change is a fundamental business problem and those companies that do not prepare will face shareholder and stakeholder risks.

Results from the February 2022 edition of The CMO Survey show that only one-third of surveyed companies have incorporated climate change issues into their brand strategies or have specific marketing goals related to climate change. Strikingly, nearly 40% of companies are taking no climate-related marketing actions.

Marketers can help lead companies by providing research and case studies on how adopting climate metrics leads to business innovation, operational efficiency, and other forms of competitive advantage. This effort will be meaningful to consumers and other stakeholders, as well as elevate marketing’s role in the company.

Studying the long-term concerns among stakeholders and building a stronger understanding of how companies can work together with these individuals and organizations is an important role for marketers because they have the strongest connection to the external world.

The sooner companies adapt their marketing strategies to the reality that there is no planet B, the better off they and our environment will be.”

Inspired by Paula Alexander, IRG participant 2022,
Sr Director Sustainability at The Clorox Company.