The pressure to operate in a more sustainable way is becoming harder for brands to ignore.
It was a key narrative at this year’s Cannes Lions event, with a high profile protest by Greenpeace drawing attention to the links between fossil fuels and advertising.
Sustainable future for brands
Since then, it’s been announced that environmentalists are suing Dutch airline KLM for “greenwashing”, emphasising the stark shift in consumer attitudes towards sustainable brands — and the integrity of those brands in implementing green policy promises.
As the advertising industry and climate change discussions become increasingly intertwined, brands have an opportunity to increase trust and loyalty from consumers with genuinely eco-friendly practices.
To understand consumer sentiment towards sustainability, adtech company LoopMe surveyed 2,025 UK consumers on 26-30 June 2022.
They analysed how important it is to consumers for brands to have a sustainability promise, attitudes towards the pace of fossil fuel companies going net zero and interest in sustainable ways of travelling.
The research reveals that 64% of consumers feel it is important for brands to have a sustainability promise, and over a quarter (27%) feel fossil fuel companies should pick up the pace when it comes to going net zero.
Females are twice as likely to feel it is important for brands to have a sustainability promise than males, and females are twice as likely to favour a sustainable fashion brand than males.
However, despite the overall view that brands could benefit from delivering on sustainability a surprisingly low number said they would actually move to electric cars.
Only 46% of those surveyed said they would buy an electric car, and a staggering 36% said they’re just not interested at all.
Similarly, when asked if they would favour sustainable fashion brands, 35% were a withering neutral whilst 46% said they would support eco conscious fashion.
It may be that cost is a factor here, especially where EVs are concerned. As electric cars currently tend to be around 15% more expensive than fossil fuel vehicles to buy. So there’s clearly work to be done on pricing here.
- 64% of consumers feel it is important for brands to have a sustainability promise
- 27% of consumers feel fossil fuel companies should pick up their pace with regards to going net zero
- 40% of consumers feel any progress made by fossil fuel companies to achieve net zero is good and a step in the right direction
- 80% of consumers are interested in environmentally sustainable ways to travel
- 48% of consumers would purchase an electric vehicle in the future
- 46% of consumers favour a sustainable fashion brand
- 86% of consumers value the importance of sustainably sourced food produce
Key Audience Insights:
- Females are 2x as likely to feel it is important for brands to have a sustainability promise than males
- 55-64 year old are most likely to feel fossil fuel companies should pick up their pace with regards to going net zero
- Females are more than 2x as likely to be interested in environmentally sustainable ways to travel than males
- 18-24 year olds are most likely to own an electric vehicle
- Females are more than 2x as likely to favour a sustainable fashion brand than males
- 55-64 year old are most likely to value the importance of sustainably sourced food produce
Sarah Rew, Senior Director of Global Marketing at LoopMe: “It’s encouraging to see that sustainability is front of mind for so many consumers, from the brands they choose, to the food they eat, and the way they travel.
“The high intent to purchase electric cars bodes well for the future, and it’s perhaps unsurprising that young people are leading the charge in this area, considering the high levels of climate anxiety among this age group.
“What is interesting is that females are twice as likely as men to favour sustainable fashion, travel, and brands in general.
“This offers brands a golden opportunity; they can tailor campaigns to engage environmentally-conscious female consumers with genuine, eco-friendly messaging, and find innovative ways to improve sustainability awareness and enthusiasm among men.
“After all, to truly reduce our environmental impacts, everyone needs to be on board, and targeted, exceptional advertising has the power to transform attitudes for the better.”