Anna Lungley

Chief Sustainability Officer

Asia’s values, traditions and cultures will influence a new human need-centered landscape, impacting the way we do business for years to come. 

Asia Pacific is a dynamic, diverse and rapidly changing region with an unprecedented opportunity to shape a new world with purpose at its core. It is well reported by thinktanks from the World Economic Forum to the United Nations that the balance of population, and power, is shifting East. Today, Asia is home to 54% of the world’s urban population. By 2030, it will contribute 60% of global growth and by 2040 it is predicted to drive 40% of global consumption. These predictions demonstrate a profound shift in power, where Asia will be influencing new norms in trade, innovation and human capital.

We are all standing on the precipice of great change. We know the world’s centre of gravity is shifting East – the figures show us that. But it is the decisions businesses, brands and consumers make now that will determine if we live in a resource rich world as a flourishing species. We cannot build our future by repeating our past; climate change, biodiversity loss and rising inequality are clear proof we need to make fundamental changes to how we live. And consumer choices are reflecting this shift. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) undertake a global seafood study every two years. In November 2020 they released their new findings, highlighting the rise of the conscious consumer and their increasing concern around the impact of pollution and climate change on the world’s oceans. This denoted a dramatic shift in just two years. We have also seen this new appetite through the popularity in some of our own work, most notably Fish Checker, an app in Taiwan that helps consumers make sustainable choices in fish markets.

Consumers are holding brands accountable as they continue to make more conscious decisions. And it our responsibility to help brands pivot towards this, moving from what is popular to what is critical and driving meaningful progress in an ever-changing world. Providing consumers with sustainable options will maintain quality growth without undermining future development; and the brands who enable and provide these choices thanked in dollars. With global consumer spending expected to reach USD 32T in 2030, good and growth are no longer interdependent. And with the shift of power changing, brands in Asia have an unprecedented opportunity – and with that, critical responsibility to pave the way for a sustainable, accountable future.

Anna Lungley was speaking at Sustainable Brands, APAC - the largest dedicated community of brand and sustainability innovators in APAC.