Report: Environmental sustainability in demand, but consumers confused by brand promises

Eight in 10 Australian consumers expect all businesses to do their best to support green practices, while four in 10 say they will stop buying from brands that don’t.

According to new local research conducted by strategy consultancies Nature and The Lab and based on a survey of 2,000 Australians, sustainability and environmental awareness are currently hot topics for consumers. However, the survey also demonstrated both confusion and skepticism about the sustainability claims made by businesses.

For example, 72 percent of respondents said they don’t believe some brands are as green as they claim, up from 51 percent in 2019. Additionally, 56 percent said they found sustainability claims made by organizations to be confusing, up from 34 percent in 2019.

Overall, 63 percent of respondents said they highly value green brands, and 78 percent believe major brands should set an example of environmental sustainability, up from 58 percent in 2019. More than seven in 10 (73 percent) ) expect all businesses to do their best to be environmentally friendly.

In terms of action, 39 percent of all respondents said they would stop working for the business if it was not performing consistently, and that figure rose to 47 percent among the under-30s.

The study also found that the demand for sustainable business extends to all industries. For example, 63 percent said they think about sustainability “a little or a lot” when it comes to home goods, 52 percent about clothing and 50 percent about hair and beauty products.

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