The Consumer Futures 2020 report, published today (10 October), has been created in conjunction with Forum for the Future, a non-profit global organisation that works with businesses and governments.
It aims to act as a "practical tool" to help retailers, brands and manufacturers in the global consumer goods industry "plan for the future".
The creation of the report is the result of an 18-month long partnership between Unilever and Sainsbury's, which builds on Forum for the Future’s 2007 Retail Futures report.
The report explores four scenarios, labelled "My way", "Sell it to me", "From me to you", and "I'm in your hands", to explain the possible ways for sustainable consumer consumption to become mainstream by 2020.
Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury's, said: "Sustainability will continue to rise higher up the agenda over the coming years, so it is key that brands work to ensure they can respond to consumer demand.
"Being a sustainable company is not about box ticking, it's about future-proofing your business and building trust and brand loyalty that will last for years to come."
Unilever and Sainsbury's are two of more that 170 brands to have backed the Government's "responsibility deal", which intends to improve public health through a series of measures such as reducing the amount of salt in food and ramping up activity to promote responsible drinking.
Both King and Amanda Sourry, Unilever's chairman UK and Ireland, are due to speak at a joint launch for the report this week.
Sourry noted: "The old model of ever greater consumption, with growth at any price, is broken. Companies that succeed in the future will be those that reduce their environmental impact, whilst increasing their social and economic impacts."
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