A new survey showing that eco-friendly consumer trends
are surviving global uncertainty is great news for our planet, writes
With the world in turmoil, do the things that mattered to us pre-pandemic still stand? Or have the challenges we’ve all faced in 2020 shifted fundamental consumer beliefs and behaviours?
These questions were top of mind when Targus recently commissioned a powerful new piece of research into eco-trends across Europe. The positive results are creating some welcome respite from the prevailing gloom, both for green campaigners and business transformation champions keen to do the right thing going forward.
The future is certainly looking green in the UK, with nearly half of all Brits (44%) intending to keep up their eco-conscious lifestyle choices post-lockdown. That increases in the younger generation, with almost two-thirds (62%) of those under 55 planning to keep making green choices.
In fact, 63% of Brits feel that sustainability should be a top priority for all businesses. The French go even further with a massive 88% seeing sustainability as a top business priority. So it’s clear that a brand’s future reputation and success may well depend on it continuing to offer eco-conscious products and services while demonstrating sustainable manufacturing and supply chain credentials.
Still happy to dig deeper
Of course, environmentally conscious products often cost a little more to manufacture and, therefore, to buy. So it’s reassuring to know that 71% of French respondents, 54% of the Dutch and 46% of Brits are happy to pay more for greener products, despite the economic pressures of the moment. Food tops the poll, with one in every two consumers across Europe saying they actively choose greener grocery options. Just behind that come technology at 49% and clothes at 47% with travel and cosmetics tying at a very respectable 32%.
It all sends a clear message to product designers and portfolio managers about including sustainable options in their ranges, driving the top down change our planet needs.
Wearing and walking the talk
So are consumers themselves prepared to make any changes, creating vital bottom-up, market-led pressure too? It seems they are. 54% say they are switching to energy saving appliances, 43% are focussed on reducing their addiction to fast fashion and 40% are walking and cycling more.
Interestingly, almost one in four Dutch survey respondents (24%) say that they have made more sustainable choices since COVID-19 and plan to keep on doing so. There are also practical things that Dutch consumers would like help to achieve. For example 45.5% would like to gain a better understanding of their CO2 impact to make better choices and reduce their carbon footprint.
So much about our world has dramatically changed in 2020, so it’s reassuring to know that the movement for greener and more sustainable living has not just survived, but is growing in parts of Europe. There’s a lesson in that for consumer brand owners, business and government purchasing teams and environmental legislators alike.
Want to know more? Why not read the full survey report here. You can also explore Targus’ own journey to building a greener supply chain and more sustainable products here.