Faced with a cost-of-living crisis, consumers are having make difficult choices. While most want to take action on sustainability, rising and premium pricing is making it hard.
Ninety-seven percent of people globally are prepared to make changes but 65% say their increased cost of living prevents them from doing so.
Kantar’s Sustainability Sector Index 2022 provides a roadmap for brands that want to address their sector-specific sustainability challenges as well as identifying consumers attitudes and behaviours.
Based on 33,000 interviews around the world, and mapped against the UN Sustainable Development Goals, our analysis finds that there is a huge growth opportunity for businesses that can offer mass-market sustainable options.
For brands that have the ambition, being sustainable and mass market can be the engine for future business growth. Even among the most engaged consumers, 77% believe that sustainable products are more expensive, and that price prevents them from doing more for the planet.
More broadly, the Sustainability Sector Index 2022 asked consumers around the world about their attitudes to sustainable living and how can be more sustainable, identifying three key issues: waste, decarbonisation and biodiversity.
While all consumers are happy to reduce their food waste, take reusable bags when shopping and recycle, they also expect brands to play their part on packaging and waste. In 24 out of the 38 categories we asked about, associations such as overpackaging, non-recyclable packaging and landfill, over-consumption and waste were far too strong.
There are huge variations by market on what the solution to decarbonization should be – use of renewable energy, for example, was highlighted by 77% in Brazil but 42% in Japan – but globally 15 out of our 38 sectors were strongly associated with carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions leading to global warming.
Finally, biodiversity is rapidly becoming a major issue for many. There will be a UN Biodiversity Summit – COP 15 in Montreal – in December but people are already looking for action, with 60% globally calling for companies to take active role. Deforestation concerns are critical for coffee, tea and home furnishing, for example, while intensive farming concerns inevitably cover on the wider food sector.
Read our six key takeaways from Sustainability Sector Index 2022 and identify what your brand can do to appeal more to the many who want to lead sustainable lives.
The actions needed can be relatively straightforward; 61% say “clear certification explaining the environmental/ethical benefits would influence me to buy”, for example.
Such simple, credible actions (combined with more affordable options) have the potential to not only help consumers deliver on their desires but also deliver growth for your brands.