NEWS26 November 2015

Young adults take broad view of sustainability


UK — Sustainability messages relating to the planet and raw resources resonate most strongly with the general public according to a study from business intelligence research consultancy, Future Thinking.


In terms of consumers’ general perception of sustainability, the impact on the land and climate were the most important messages ( 52% and 49% respectively).

It found that 16- to 34-year-olds take a broader view on sustainability by also considering the welfare of employees, customers and suppliers when compared with the over-55s ( 24% vs 13%).

Respondents indicated that the most important sustainability messages were: minimising waste to landfills ( 39%), using sustainable ingredient sources ( 37%) and using renewable energy wherever possible ( 37%). When asked about specific industries, consumers believe the importance of sustainability is essential across the board, but energy providers came out highest overall, followed by food and drink manufacturers and supermarkets.

The survey monitored the sentiments of more than 25,000 consumers using a GMI Lightspeed panel to determine perceptions towards the issue of sustainability between 9th July and 6th August 2015.

Claudia Strauss, managing director of FMCG and shopper at Future Thinking, said: “For consumers, sustainability represents messaging around the planet and its resources. It involves taking positive actions and taking a stand by encouraging changes in behaviour that will protect and regenerate the planet. What is clear is individuals have separated environmental sustainability issues from human welfare and charity ones.

“Corporations should therefore be mindful to ensure their messages reflect and respect how people interpret CSR initiatives. Not only do consumers want to see more sustainable actions, they believe that a brand who demonstrates active and positive participation will be a brand they feel closer to and more likely to see as leaders in their field.”