Coates’ presentation at TMRE, “Recycling Revolution: Leveraging the VoC to Shape the Public Debate on Molecular Recycling,” examines the industry and consumer demand for molecular recycling solutions. Eastman must also work with governments and NGOs globally to ensure that molecular recycling is an accepted form of recycling. To do this, Eastman has been leveraging the voices of consumers around the world to showcase acceptance and enthusiasm for what molecular recycling can enable.
“I think my session is really about how do you leverage insights to enable sales collateral, engaging with customers, making them believe in a solution and helping them position it in the market,” says Coates. “But it’s also about using insights to really change the world and make it a better place—to help brands bring sustainable solutions to the market and translate their goals to real things that real consumers can touch, can buy, and ultimately feel good about consuming.”
The session also touched on the governmental and legislative side. Just how do you enact change that will allow different technologies to come to pass, and to drive sustainability across many different fronts including plastic circularity?
“Some of the audience might be familiar with the FTC Green Guides, which are currently in review,” Coates points out. “Eastman and many other companies are intimately involved in advocating for certain topics such as molecular recycling. We’re using consumer research to show that consumers see this new type of recycling as a form of recycling. They appreciate and understand the benefits. That’s very powerful information when the FTC is considering what do they include in the Green Guide because their job is to make sure consumers aren’t green washed or tricked. Coming up with robust consumer research that explains the issue and how people feel about it is the strongest proof to get them to make a change.”
Recently, All Things Insights partnered with Coates to roll out a monthly sustainability column on the website, which focuses on exploring some of the top myths of sustainability, and how insights leaders can leverage the subject for their enterprise’s efforts in the category (see “Exploring 10 Myths About Global Consumers & Sustainability”).
“I appreciate the opportunity to create this column. I’ve had about 15 years of experience in consumer research, sustainability, working with brands all over the world,” says Coates. “I commonly hear a lot of misconceptions about what consumers think about sustainability, what they believe is true or not. And I wanted to write this blog series to kind of debunk those myths, just kind of going one by one, explaining what we see in our own research at Eastman, sharing real data with our audience, but also a few stories from my experience working with some of the world’s largest brands. But ultimately the column is tailored to the insights professional. How can you as an insights professional get a seat at the table and drive sustainable change for your own company?”
See the full video for Seth Adler’s conversation with Justin Coates at TMRE, as they chat about the outlook for 2024, the sustainability commitment, bringing insights to the table, stakeholder engagement and more.