Sustainability - The Rise Of Consumer Responsibility - Report
5 March 2009 at 1:28 pm
A new report by the Hartman Group in the US called Sustainability: The Rise of Consumer Responsibility unravels the consumer side of the complex issue of sustainability.
The report describes consumers’ familiarity with sustainability, as a term, and way of life, and how the myriad of attitudes and behaviors across economic, social, corporate and environmental responsibility is reflected in their consumption patterns. It sheds light on the increasing desire among consumers to live more responsibly.
And perhaps not surprisingly the report found that “Sustainability” is not a household word.
Not only is the word sustainability seldom used in consumer circles, but when pressed, many individuals are unsure of what it means. In fact, consumer familiarity with the term “sustainability” is virtually identical in both 2008 and 2007. The report found that slightly more than half (56%) of respondents indicated that they are familiar with the term today versus 54% in 2007.
Underscoring their unfamiliarity with the term and issues tied to it, almost three quarters (71%) of consumers say they don’t know or were uncertain which companies support sustainable values and a full 75% say they don’t know or were uncertain which products are sustainable.
The analyses indicates that many consumers do not know which products or companies are truly sustainable.
The report highlights key findings that reinforce the trend in “responsible purchasing” including, the number of consumers who believe their purchase decisions matter as much as their votes, how many consumers participate in sustainable behaviors and consider environment and social aspects at times in making purchase decisions, and those consumers willing to pay a premium for sustainable goods despite the economic downturn.