How Much Do Customers Care About Sustainability?

Over the last few years, it seems the word ‘sustainability’ has been inescapable. It’s a hot topic for consumers and businesses too as they compete for custom and want to show how they’re making a positive impact.

Climate worries and scientific studies show how much needs to be done in terms of saving energy and reducing consumerism but with that in mind how much do customers care about sustainability?

Sustainability and saving resources still matter to consumers

At its very heart, sustainability, and eco-friendly practices still matter to the vast majority of consumers. A healthier, greener way of living makes people feel happier and helps our planet too.

As people become more aware of the choices they make and the impact they have on the environment, behaviours change. For instance, there are now 1.5 million homes in the UK that have benefited from installing solar panels from a professional commercial solar company such as Atlantic Renewables.

Social responsibility is something that drives UK consumers to make sustainable changes to their purchasing habits. Buyers want to make purchases from fair and equitable companies that not only provide eco-friendly options but also look after their staff and provide safe working conditions.

Making a positive impact on well-being

Consumers who shop sustainably see it as positive for their long-term health too. Obvious connections are being made between natural and organic products or products that help conserve energy and precious resources as being ‘good for us’ - and indeed they are, however, these have got to be transparent and clear - consumers are getting increasingly savvy over products that make wild claims and don’t deliver.

Healthier alternatives to harmful chemicals in cleaning products or the fossil fuels used by energy companies are being sought. Supporting these businesses helps create more jobs and generate better economic growth in local areas.

The economics of sustainability

This is the only area that causes a wobble with sustainable consumerism - pricing and cost of items and services. Many people who want to shop and live more sustainable lives can do so within their means and are willing to pay that bit more for it. However, it’s often determined by disposable income and if that takes a hit - then they’re likely to be a little more circumspect about how they spend their cash.

Gender can play a significant part in sustainable purchasing too, with women more likely than men to factor in eco-friendly choices when they spend. It’s also the younger generations who want to make more sustainable choices when they shop and spend.

At the end of the day, consumer priorities are a complex topic and there’s never a one-size-fits-all approach to how people spend money - and whether they make sustainable choices or not.

As an example, if a particular consumer values environmental responsibility over anything else, they’ll choose those types of goods and services even if they cost a bit more, as they align with their core beliefs - they may choose to make savings elsewhere. Factors like personal circumstances, upbringing, and the types of marketing people are exposed to all play a part in making sustainable choices.

The end game is that consumers still care very much about sustainability when it comes to how they shop and live their lives, but companies still need to do their bit to encourage them and foster positive changes.