Staff Reporters
Aug 10, 2021

Consumers demand action over empty sustainability promises from brands

BBC News study finds that consumers are becoming particular about brands' sustainability credentials and are willing to pay a premium for those whose actions match their words.

Consumers demand action over empty sustainability promises from brands

Over four in five consumers in APAC agree that clearly demonstrating a commitment to sustainability adds value to a brand, reveals a study by BBC News. As they embed themselves into an uncertain post-pandemic life, a similar number also say sustainable practices and commitments are an important consideration when making purchase decisions.

BBC Global News conducted two surveys to understand how consumers feel towards sustainability, focusing on the automotive, technology and finance sectors. After battling through successive waves of Covid, the survey found that consumers in the region are rethinking the brands they patronise and are willing to patronise—and will pay a premium for brands with a standout sense of purpose. In fact, the survey revealed that 68% are happy to pay more for brands with strong sustainability and eco-friendly practices. What's more, over half of respondents stated they would discard brands that deviated from a sustainable path. 

Brands in APAC may have some hard yards to cover when it comes to communicating their sustainability strategy. On average, for the 27 brands surveyed across three sectors, around half of all consumers said they are not aware of the brand's sustainability practices—with finance ranking by far the highest with 63% of all consumers not being aware of financial brands’ sustainability practices.

Alistair McEwan, senior vice president of commercial development at BBC Global News APAC said of the report: "These results demonstrate the importance that consumers place on a brand’s sustainability credentials and show that they are willing to use their wallets to make their feelings known.  For brands to retain loyalty from their customers, they need to be absolutely clear about their commitment to taking action."

The research showed that consumers believe that it’s important for all brands’ sustainability practices to involve education and research—83% of consumers believe that brands should invest in education about the importance of sustainability and 79% agree that brands should be financing research for sustainable practices.

Elsewhere the research showed that for consumers across the region, brand trust is still seen as the most important brand association, especially for automotive and technology sectors at 87% and 83% respectively, with finance scoring 63%.

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