Green businesses missing out on reputational gains
Sustainability-minded brands are failing to capitalise on the consumer-goodwill that a green approach to business can generate.
In a survey of 1,000 consumers, 81% said they are likely to buy from a brand with a positive approach to sustainability, but nearly half those consumers (45%) are unaware of the sustainable practices that brands have adopted.
Clean-power provider SmartestEnergy, which carried out the study, believes this sends a clear message to brands: communicate your green initiatives as this will encourage sales.
"Today's consumer is savvy and cares about the environment, they realise that we all need to work together to make a difference as we are all responsible," said SmartestEnergy head of marketing Mike Shirley.
"Our research shows that consumers' attitudes towards sustainability influence their relationships with brands. Brands need to effectively communicate what they are doing across their whole business to showcase their green credentials."
The most overlooked sustainability initiatives included 'big ticket' schemes such as installing renewable power sources or tackling polluting supply chains. Just 31% and 40% of respondents respectively were aware of these types of initiatives..
The study also found that nearly three in five people (57%) feel that it is the combined responsibility of individuals, consumer brands and the Government to help maintain a sustainable future.
However, further questions revealed that that support is not independent of cost.
While nearly three-quarters (74%) said they would use a consumer brand to improve their own environmental impact, 82% believe they should not have to pay more to shop with a sustainable brand.
The findings echo a report releasd on Tuesday by brand-reputation company GivenLondon, which found that a sustainability ethos does not lead to business success unless properly marketed.