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Overhead view of wooden blocks with various sustainability symbols printed on them, arranged next to a small globe and a glass pot with a succulent plant on a green background."

Ernest Tan

Sustainable branding 2024: 4 trends to fuel brand growth

Sustainability: It’s not just for hippies and tree-huggers anymore. It’s a business imperative that’s reshaping how companies operate, attract customers, and boost profits. Think of sustainable branding as the essential ‘glow up’ every business needs to thrive in a world that’s increasingly demanding more ethical, responsible, and planet-friendly choices. In 2024, if you’re not on board the sustainability train, you’re not just missing out–you’re actively losing customers to competitors that are embracing a more holistic approach to business.

This move towards sustainability didn’t happen in a vacuum; governments worldwide are increasingly recognising its importance and taking action to support it. The Singapore government, for example, has already set a high bar with ambitious initiatives like the Singapore Green Plan 2030, a slew of progressive carbon tax hikes, and stringent SGX sustainability reporting rules. But don’t worry, antics@play’s got you covered. This guide will walk you through the most significant sustainability trends of 2024 and arm you with actionable insights to not only keep up but thrive in this new era of responsible business.

Trend 1: Data-driven accountability (aka no more BS)

So, the days of empty promises and greenwashing are pretty much numbered. Consumers and regulators alike are increasingly calling out companies for their fluffy sustainability claims. In 2024, transparency is key for sustainable branding, as consumers increasingly expect companies to prove their commitment to environmental and social responsibility. It’s all about backing up your eco-friendly talk with cold, hard data. No verifiable data? No trust. It’s that simple.

Singapore, with all our strict (but fair) rules, is especially tough on greenwashing. So, if you’re caught fibbing, it’s not just gonna look bad–you’ll likely face some unpleasant legal consequences, too. Remember that PRISM+ ad that got called out by ASAS for overstating the environmental benefits of an air-conditioner? Yeah, that’s not a good look.

What marketers can do:

Track it

Figure out what KPIs matter to your sustainability goals (emissions, energy use, whatever), then measure them so they accurately reflect your sustainability efforts. Data not only builds trust but can also be used to uncover cost savings and process improvements.

Authentic storytelling

Tell it like it is. Use those metrics you’ve been tracking to tell an authentic story about your sustainability journey. And don’t just brag about the good stuff either–own up to your challenges, too. Running a sustainable business is genuinely hard and most consumers appreciate being part of an honest, mature conversation about what sustainability entails.

Get third-party verified

Now, if you’re really serious about this whole sustainability thing, get a third party (think B Corp or ISO 14001) to give you their stamp of approval. Certifications and audits can substantiate your commitments and reassure stakeholders of their validity, taking your sustainability branding cred to a whole ‘nother level.

Trend 2: Regenerative Business

These days, sustainability 2.0 isn’t just about doing less harm. It’s about proactively making things better. Think restoring habitats, boosting biodiversity, and just all around giving Mother Nature a helping hand.

On our little red dot where every bit of green space counts, these practices can significantly contribute to environmental resilience and sustainability; they’re also a cornerstone of effective sustainable branding, demonstrating a commitment to actively improving the environment. And consumers are digging it. Research shows that the adoption of regenerative business practices is linked to several key benefits including enhanced brand reputation, increased consumer loyalty, and potential regulatory advantages.

What marketers can do:

Find your niche

Figure out where you can make the biggest difference. Look for aspects of your business operations where regenerative practices can be integrated, such as waste reduction, water reuse, or sustainable sourcing.

Spread the word

Don’t be shy about your regenerative efforts. Shout it from the rooftops (or at least your social media); use your business’s marketing channels to educate your audience about the benefits of regenerative practices and how your company is contributing to a more sustainable future.

Team up

Partner with local environmental groups or initiatives that focus on restoration projects. This not only boosts your credibility but also strengthens community ties.

Trend 3: Social justice and inclusivity as a core values

Sustainability has moved beyond just saving trees and reducing emissions. These days, it’s also about taking care of people and ensuring that everyone benefits from more sustainable living and working conditions. Ethical practices, fair trade, and inclusivity are increasingly seen as integral components of a sustainable business model. We’re talking fair wages, safe working conditions, diversity, and giving back to the community. Incorporating these values into your sustainable branding efforts can resonate deeply with consumers who are seeking brands that align with their own ethical priorities. This is the new frontier of sustainability.

So, here’s the deal: consumers and investors are getting smarter. They’re looking beyond environmental responsibility and demanding that companies walk the talk when it comes to social responsibility. They’re also putting their money where their mouth is. Companies that ignore this trend risk alienating a growing segment of conscientious consumers.

What marketers can do:

Champion diversity and inclusion in your marketing campaigns

Feature diverse voices and perspectives in your advertising, social media, and content marketing. Showcase real people from different backgrounds who are using and benefiting from your sustainable products or services.

Use your platform to advocate for change

Speak out on social justice issues that align with your brand values. Use your influence to raise awareness, spark conversations, and inspire action around matters of sustainability and sustainable living.

Get involved

Partner with social enterprises or non-profits that are working to address social inequalities locally. This could involve co-creating campaigns, donating a portion of sales to a cause, or volunteering your time and expertise.

Trend 4: The rise of the circular economy

The concept of a circular economy is revolutionising how businesses think about production and waste. It’s about designing sustainable products that last longer, using recycled materials, and finding ways to give old products a new life. And by ditching the linear ‘take-make-waste’ model for one that emphasises reuse, recycling, and regeneration, companies can significantly reduce their environmental footprint.

What marketers can do:

Re-think your products

Start by looking at your product’s entire life cycle.

Consider ways to enhance your product’s lifespan: Can you make it more durable? Craft it from recycled or eco-friendly materials? Can you offer a repair or take-back program?

Offer incentives for product take-back and recycling

Encourage customers to return used products for repair, refurbishment, or recycling. Offer discounts on new purchases, loyalty points, or other rewards for participating in your take-back program. This can encourage sustainable living amongst your customers.

Get creative with waste

Explore innovative ways to upcycle or repurpose waste materials. Could your packaging be transformed into something new and useful?

Get some help

Partner with sustainability consultants, recycling experts, or upcycling companies to find innovative ways to reuse or repurpose your products.


So, there you have it! 2024 is shaping up to be the year of sustainability in Singapore and beyond. The trends we’ve unpacked here–data-driven accountability, regenerative business practices, social justice as a core value, and the rise of the circular economy–are reshaping not only how businesses operate, but also how they’re evaluated in the marketplace. As Singapore continues to advance its sustainability goals, savvy businesses are realising that responding adroitly to sustainability trends isn’t just a “nice-to-haves” anymore. Indeed, sustainable branding is the secret sauce to staying competitive, winning over consumers, and securing their future in a rapidly changing world, and now is the time to act–not just for ethical reasons, but to ensure long-term business resilience and success.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your sustainability journey, antics@play can help. Get in touch today to find out how we can help your business develop and implement a winning sustainability strategy and let’s make some magic happen!