The World Economic Forum (WEF) and Effie Worldwide will applaud marketers who inspire consumers to make more sustainable choices through the newly created Positive Change Effie Award.

The idea for the award emerged during discussions about the Engaging Tomorrow’s Consumer project at the WEF 2013 Annual Meeting in Davos, where business leaders saw an opportunity to reward brands for prioritizing sustainability in their marketing. 

The Positive Change Effie Award will celebrate effective marketing programs that measurably shift consumer behavior toward more sustainable choices, and/or grow demand for more sustainable products and services. Effie Worldwide is known globally for championing effectiveness through the Effie Awards, the Effie Effectiveness Index and other initiatives.

A recent WEF survey found that 54 percent of brand managers feel barriers exist to prioritizing sustainability, and that 25 percent of this group feel there is no incentive to incorporate sustainable strategies. The Positive Change Effies will both incentivize marketers to emphasize sustainability in their work and recognize companies who are committed to driving and promoting positive environmental impact. Call for entries will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Further research exposed a clear gap between the intentions and actions of consumers when it comes to sustainability with 72 percent of consumers surveyed around the world saying they are willing to buy green products, but only 17% actually doing so. The Engaging Tomorrow’s Consumer project was created to explore what motivates consumer behavior and develop recommendations on how to use those motivators to encourage sustainable consumption and create business value.  

“To help get consumers excited about sustainability, we must excite marketers because they are the ones who will promote sustainable products,” said Bea Perez, Coke’s chief sustainability officer and a member of the steering group of the Engaging Tomorrow’s Consumer project. “At Davos last year, brand leaders decided to recognize and reward marketers for embedding sustainability in their brand communications while also demonstrating business results. It’s great to see this become a reality as the Positive Change Effie Award will be a coveted award that companies will want to win.”