Sustainability is crossing over into the business ecosystem like never before, as environmental issues dominate business risksfinance mobilization, and technology investments. The 10x surge in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investment is not only unprecedented, it signals businesses are beginning to shift their strategic plans and financial assumptions away from endless extraction. Yet most brands are overlooking a crucial part of this strategic investment: their customers! 

New research by Kaleido Insights, Customer Experience: The Untapped Pillar of ESG Programs analyzes modern ESG programs for their effectiveness and integration within businesses and across their ecosystems. We find that pandemic disruptions of recent years have catalyzed customer expectations that businesses positively impact people and planet.

The report identifies four innovation opportunity areas most companies have failed to activate:

1. Customer Perceptions: Research shows consumers expect companies to integrate environmental concerns into their products, services, and operations to a greater extent than in the past. Learn how to avoid perceptions of greenwashing and deliver on expectations that purpose extends beyond profits, and extends to every business function.

2. Customer Behaviors: Recent years have seen several behavioral trends which predict consumer purchase decisions, issue involvement, and support for policies and business actions. See how leading companies are activating the 80% of global consumers expressing willingness to change…

3. Customer Demands: The next era of empowered consumers seek more than tech-driven ease. “Eco-empowered” consumers demand businesses transform products and services to enable their own sustainability impacts. Understand how to “eco-empower” the entire customer journey.

4. Customer Impacts: Consumer-facing sectors can accelerate energy transformation through new technologies and business models. We analyze over a dozen markets to help connect demands to your unique industry, business model, and region to scale impact. 

Download the report here

Each section compiles recommendations to help leaders move to action rapidly, and in orchestrating across relevant business functions, such as Product, Marketing, IT, Supply Chain, and more. Through interviews, market trend analysis, and assessment across top sectors investing in ESG, the report also finds that this broader imperative marks the next phase of digital transformation. There is a reason the world’s largest tech companies and $60B “climate tech” start-up space are incorporating all manner of software, hardware and device infrastructure, network designs, big data, and ecosystem partnerships into their long-term bets. 

The next phase of business transformation integrates sustainability of living systems– both people and planet– into business success and market strategy. 

For years, digital transformation has been a synonym for “digitizing” analogue processes, using data to drive efficiency gains, cost optimization, and novel customer experiences. But the world has changed, your customers have changed, and so has the orientation for business and technological innovation. ESG is not just an investment trend, it is an entry point for exceeding the next generation of customer experiences. 

Thumbnail Photo by Singkham from Pexels