As 2022 draws to a close, it's time to look forward to what next year might bring in terms of CPG corporate responsibility trends. Some trends will linger from this year to the next, while others are still on the horizon as 2023 dawns.
Here are some corporate responsibility trends that could continue into 2023.
Virtual Focus Continues Post-COVID Shutdowns
During the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary to conduct meetings and events virtually, but many companies have continued with virtual events because of convenience and better attendance. They can include board member informational sessions, volunteer events, and feedback sessions.
While virtual coffee hours and meet-and-greets are missing the ubiquitous refreshments that so many enjoy, they provide opportunities to get face time without filling up increasingly expensive gas tanks or spending precious work and personal hours fighting traffic. More people are willing to give an hour on Zoom than to give their entire morning to in-person meetings or events if they're optional.
Sustainability, Zero Carbon Footprint, and a Shift Away from Fossil Fuels
Sustainability and reducing the company's carbon footprint have been the focuses of corporate responsibility for the last several years, but the recent spike in gas and oil prices, with further spikes likely down the road, has led many companies to step up their efforts to be sustainable and be carbon neutral.
In 2023, some companies could step away from fossil fuels entirely as their prices skyrocket. Becoming more sustainable has become more affordable, and many company leaders won't be able to resist the payoff carbon neutrality brings.
The Necessity of Transparency in an Age of Reporting
By necessity, 2023 will be a year of greater transparency as reporting software becomes more common and easier to use. Companies know if they don't show the steps that they're taking to become more sustainable, people won't believe they're really doing them.
Companies also open themselves up to criticism and loss of revenue if they aren't honest about their "green" efforts. Saying nothing will not protect them if members of the press or public get curious about the brand and whether it's practicing what it preaches.
Increased Crackdown on Greenwashing
Going along with transparency, 2023 could bring greater crackdowns and public outcries against greenwashing, the practice of exaggerating or outright lying about a company's green policies and practices. It will not be acceptable for companies to be dishonest about their sustainability policies, and companies that do this will be called out for it.