New Survey Shows the Importance of Sustainability to Consumers

A new study from Sensormatic Solutions shows just how important the sustainability of companies is to consumers in the US. Over half of the respondents (53 percent) said they would use a brand or store less frequently if they discovered they were not operating sustainably, and 18 percent said they would stop shopping at that retailer altogether.

The survey also found that 70 percent of consumers are willing to pay at least 5 percent more for products that can demonstrate a fully sustainable supply chain. This, even though cost is the most cited barrier to sustainable shopping (55 percent) closely followed by consumers’ perception that the stores they frequent do not offer many sustainable options (47 percent).

Kim Melvin
Kim Melvin

“This survey speaks to a belief we’ve long held: prioritizing sustainable solutions is simply good business,” said Kim Melvin, global leader of marketing, Sensormatic Solutions. “Facilitating sustainable retail operations has been at the heart of the Sensormatic Solutions business for some time; but now, that same sentiment is mirrored among consumers. American shoppers of all ages want to see brands make investments that support responsible retail at all levels. In fact, they don’t see businesses engaging in sustainable operations as an option—they see it as an obligation.”

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Consumers want to know that their dollars are going to companies they understand are doing the right thing when it comes to the environment. Nearly 90 percent of consumers think that retailers don’t do enough to showcase their sustainability efforts.

Perhaps the most compelling takeaway around corporate responsibility is consumers’ belief that retailers’ sustainability work is far from complete. Over 90 percent of respondents said it’s important to them that retailers continue to improve environmental performance and energy management in their stores. Sixty-two percent would like to see this done through a switch to sustainable packaging alternatives, and 54 percent would like retailers to enhance inventory intelligence to avoid overstocks, wasted goods, and more.

Consumers held varying definitions of “sustainable practices,” ranging from installations of energy-efficient displays to utilization of alternative packaging, and participation in recycling programs, among others.

Read the full survey results here. Learn more about sustainability in retail here. 

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