Consumers more likely to say they don’t have enough information to make sustainable shopping choices
June 28th, 2023, Bhavika Bansal

Consumers more likely to say they don’t have enough information to make sustainable shopping choices

In an era marked by heightened environmental consciousness, the choices consumers make when purchasing products carry significant implications for the planet. While sustainable alternatives continue to emerge, a lingering question remains: to what extent do consumers believe sustainability is their responsibility, and do they take active steps to avoid environmentally harmful products?

A recent YouGov Surveys: Serviced poll reveals that more than two out five consumers globally (45%) believe prioritizing sustainability is the responsibility of companies and manufacturers, rather than their own.

Significantly outpacing the global average, more than half of consumers in the UAE (57%), India (53%) and Britain (52%) believe that the onus is on manufacturers to be sustainable.

Americans and Danes, on the other hand, seem to be more neutral. Nearly a third of both groups (31%) are on the fence as to whether it’s the responsibility of consumers or the companies they buy from.

However, whichever side of the debate consumers may support, there is a growing understanding that consumer choices hold significant weight in shaping a sustainable future. But do shoppers feel adequately equipped to make informed purchase decisions?

More than two-fifths of global consumers (44%) believe they cannot make an informed decision about a product’s sustainability. Nearly half of consumers in the UAE (48%) and Denmark (47%) feel the same way and say they don’t know enough about sustainability standards to make such decisions.

On the other hand, more than one in four Americans disagree (26%), hinting at higher consumer awareness or simply a greater sense of self-confidence in their knowledge.

Evidently, this gap in information can be a hindrance to consumers trying to make environmentally responsible choices.

Despite this however, two out five global consumers (41%) say they no longer knowingly purchase goods or services that harm the environment, leaving one in five (20%) who do.

While consumers in India (59%) and the UAE (54%) seem to be the most committed to reduce the detrimental effects of their purchases, this proportion falls significantly across other key markets.

Only slightly more than a quarter of Americans and Danes (26%) feel the same way, influenced, possibly, by factors such as convenience, affordability or the absence of easily accessible sustainable alternatives.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 512 and 2,007 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in March 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.