Consumers think buying sustainably still costs too much


The perceived premium on buying sustainable goods and services means they’re less likely to be picked up from the shelf. Intentions to live sustainably do not align to action on purchase decisions.

Brands looking to focus on their sustainability credentials may have to rethink their approach, according to a new study of 5,005 UK adults.

Savanta’s latest Sustainability Segmentation research revealed that the cost-of-living crisis is impacting consumers’ ability and desire to buy sustainably, due to the perceived premium on buying greener products.

More than half of consumers see the cost of living as among the top three issues currently facing the UK, with only one in five saying the same of climate change. Rather fittingly, a third admit they can’t afford to buy more sustainable products and services – with a further quarter stating they need more evidence that sustainable purchases are worth the additional investment.

Notably, when it comes to everyday travel, more than half of respondents (54%) say cost is an important consideration, with carbon emissions coming dead last (at 24%).

These proportions remain consistent across all socio-economic demographics, even amongst those with a household income higher than £60,000 a year.

Sustainability was not cited as the most important purchase driver across groceries, lifestyle, energy supply, travel and transport, or money management.


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