Oh Earth, oh Earth, oh Earth.

Our beloved grand grandeur of mothers is suffering, 

The oceans are boiling,  

The temperatures are rising, 

The sea creatures are dying, 

And we all await the sage that will come to the rescue. 

But unlike them myths and fairy tales, 

No sage, no wiseman, no wizard is coming ….

If Paulo Coelho was writing his famous novel ‘The Alchemist’ this year, will Santiago be travelling to Egypt in search of the hidden treasure in the pyramids of Giza? Or would he be heading to the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference in search of a new plan to help save the planet?  It may sound like a joke, but our planet’s condition is exacerbating every day, and it needs to be considered seriously! Santiago would have helped the planet. 

As the famous quote in ‘The Alchemist’ goes, ‘and, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it,’ we should keep our efforts up to save our planet up, and this is particularly true for marketing professionals. Over the past years, we have seen the world gearing up its efforts to reduce carbon emissions, control rising temperatures, and saving nature and the unprivileged. All of this focuses on one single goal, which is to save our planet. Being considered the engine of economic growth, companies in the private sector have a significant role in this race. 

As a person who works in marketing and corporate communication, I have keenly observed many changes that have happened in this area of business, and I believe moving from customer-centric to planet-centric rebranding will be the next big brand trend. The main goal of this transition is to create bespoke brand behaviours that contribute to addressing climate change. As society has become more aware of the relevance of making eco-friendly choices, brands are left with no option, other than to embrace the idea of sustainability at their core. Currently, consumers are prioritising brands with the least environmental impact. Marketers are now in urgency to build a sustainable and eco-friendly image for their brands. Now let’s take a look at some brands which have made impressive efforts to lessen their environmental impact and have rebranded for a purpose:  

Real Betis Balompie (Spanish Football Club)

In October 2020, Real Betis Balompié, set out a clear example of what football clubs can contribute to the fight against climate change, by launching ‘Forever Green’, a global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. The aim of the project was to raise awareness about climate change actions among football fans and the general public, and to facilitate activities among clubs to reduce their carbon footprint. The vision of the club is to make the football community take responsibility for its actions and work closely with the fans to save the planet. I’m sure that the impact of this project has the capacity to go beyond the football pitches. 

Sail Grand Prix (Dubai) 

Sail Grand Prix, the world’s most exciting race on water, followed a sustainability-conscious approach when it came to Dubai this month. They took several measures to highlight their sustainability-focused brand story, including deploying effective waste disposal methods, offering a plant-based diet, completely cutting out single-use plastics, relying upon sustainable technology and energy sources, choosing ethical partners and vendors, and finally setting an example for its fans by underscoring the significance of protecting the environment. 

Total (Total Energies)

We all have witnessed how the oil and energy firm, Total’s rebranding story hit the headlines last year. With the overwhelming support of its shareholders, it took over a new name and brand identity to resonate its transition to a broad green energy company. With the ambition to become a world-class player in the energy transition, Total became ‘TotalEnergies’.

Nissan (Vision 2030)

Last year, Nissan unveiled its long-term vision, Nissan Ambition 2030, to become a sustainable company that is chosen by customers and society. The company has also revealed its materiality matrix in which it has assessed its greatest value and impact on society and the environment and also how they impact the company. Responding to the critical environmental, societal and customer needs, Nissan has set its goal high to become a completely sustainable company, driving towards a cleaner, safer, and more inclusive world. The company’s ESG priorities also reiterate its focus to build a sustainability-focused brand image, which aims to reduce its carbon footprint through the whole value chain and to be carbon neutral by 2050.


KFC’s move towards sustainability was quite surprising for many of us since we don’t usually associate fast-food chains with environmental issues or reforms. Being a company operating in 135 countries, with numerable daily customers, we can simply imagine how big KFC’s contribution to packaging waste would be. This concern gave them the nudge to publicly commit to use 100 per cent reusable packages by 2025. The move was an acknowledgement of the brand’s obligation to address environmental issues. KFC has also set an example of using green building initiatives to achieve waste reduction and energy efficiency.

Though there is a global movement towards sustainability, some sectors continue to be a major contributor to the total carbon emissions in the world, for instance automobiles. Despite the transition towards electric vehicles, the industry’s carbon footprint is quite high. However, there are plenty of car brands that are making notable efforts to reduce their emissions such as, Nissan. Furthermore, automotive brands like Land Rover and Ford are also gearing up their efforts to make their brand more environmentally friendly. The investment banking company, Goldman Sachs, has also started paying close attention to environment-friendly initiatives, to build the brand’s reputation in the area of sustainability.  

As part of rebranding, many have revisited their brand slogans and logos, while some others have taken other innovative steps by introducing completely unique marketing strategies. To put it another way, a successful rebrand involves going beyond simply a marketing spirit to involving an entirely different focus, a new course, and perhaps a new method of doing things. Much like Santiago, with the world placing more emphasis on sustainability and heading to Egypt in search for answers, marketers are now tasked with evolving their brands against a grander purpose. The good news is, we have numerous possibilities to integrate eco-friendly practices into our brands’ existence. 

And here I hope we all take wisdom from ‘The Alchemist’ when Paulo Coelho’s wrote “No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it”.