MEDIA RELEASE: May 19 2022: According to Lightspeed’s SpotLight study, sustainability matters to Australian consumers, with 95% of Australians believing that it is an important issue. Air and water pollution and plastic waste are considered to be the most important sustainability issues. However, the majority of consumers also believe that climate change, human labour ethics, animal ethics and gender equality are also important.
With sustainability being important to Australians, 90% feel the need to choose more sustainable options. This reflects the comments made by Google’s human insight experts, Kim McNamee & Jenny Fernandez who stated that consumers seek everyday simple “feel-good” alternatives to live more sustainably. To make more sustainable choices, Australians are more likely to compromise on price (49%), compared to the brand name (46%), convenience (44%) and quality (39%).
Among those who are likely to compromise on price, 75% are the willing to pay more for sustainable packaging, which was the highest percentage. This topped ethical production, carbon offsetting and charitable causes and highlights the importance of plastic waste and water pollution to Australians as a sustainability issue.
While Australians are willing to pay more for sustainable options, finances are a key barrier for making more sustainable choices, with the study finding that 37% of Australians are prevented from making more sustainable choices because of their finances. Andy Hutton, General Manager of Lightspeed Australia & New Zealand, hypothesises the role of finances as a barrier for sustainable options will grow, with the increased cost-of-living putting an increased strain on household finances. This is reflected in the finding that Australians who identify as not having enough funds or only having enough funds to meet basic expenses, are much more likely than average to state that their finances prevent them from making more sustainable choices.
In future, given that brand name is the second most likely attribute Australians are likely to compromise on for sustainable choices, increased financial hardships suggests that Australians may be more inclined to switch brands in a bid to be more sustainable. If this is the case, this highlights the importance of having a sustainability strategy in place at an affordable price.
Other findings from Lightspeed’s Spotlight study include:
- 80% of consumers are interested in finding out about brands’ sustainability practices. However, 36% of respondents stated that they lack sources of information to make sustainable choices
- Among those who feel unequipped to make informed decisions, 26% actively research prior to using or purchasing a brand while 60% wait for news to come to them, and they are more likely to trust information from friends and family, advertisements, or newspaper.
- 29% state that a lack of quality was a barrier to them making more sustainable choices
- 75% of consumers believe that some or most brands greenwash
- 69% of them generally distrusting brands’ sustainability claims for this reason