NielsenIQ released "The Changing Climate of Sustainability," a new report focused on the impact of climate change on the consumer-packaged goods industry. Over the next five years, it is anticipated that governance and cost, will force manufacturers, brands, and retailers to transform and commit to real, sustainable business models to mitigate short- and long-term risk.

"Sustainability has been on the corporate agenda for some time, as a slow burn priority where some businesses have made proactive decisions to get ahead of the pack and others have taken a wait and see approach," says Regan Leggett, foresight leader, NielsenIQ. "Exploding energy costs, crop failures, and supply chain disruption are all forcing companies to future-proof existing business models or bear uncertainty and increased cost implications."

Amid supply chain challenges, inflationary pressures, and cautious consumer spending intentions, the report indicates that consumers are more informed about sustainability and demand corporate action and accountability. The new report addressed key areas, including:

- How exploding costs are upending existing business models due to the impact of climate change.

- How escalating governance and regulation is driving sustainability momentum.

- How consumer sentiment is changing from a nice to have, to a new foundational baseline in their decision making.

- What role do different stakeholders play in pushing the sustainability agenda ahead? Who do consumers trust? And what ways can companies help consumers make more sustainable choices?

- What does the future of sustainability look like for retailers, brands, consumers, and the government?

- What actions must companies take now to meet future targets and pledges made by governments?

"Consumers want help to live and consume sustainably; however, not all corporations have sustainable practices," said Nicole Corbett, vice president of thought leadership, NielsenIQ. "Over the past decade, consumers have been calling for a green revolution that has not materialized, and greenwashing and inaction from brands and retailers has left consumers with varying levels of trust in these parties to deliver."

The changing climate of sustainability has reached a critical moment, and the next five years will bring dramatic change as companies transform to meet new demands, guidelines, and realities of doing business. Authentic action from proactive and genuine companies will have a strategic advantage as industries scramble to meet requirements and mandate sustainable efforts.