New Report Shows US Consumers’ Sustainability Score Falls Behind Global Average in 2024

New Survey Indicates Decline in US Consumer Sustainability Awareness A recent survey conducted by ESW, a prominent direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-commerce company, reveals a concerning trend: US consumers are exhibiting less concern for sustainability compared to the previous year. Scoring 49 this year, down from 51 in 2023, the US falls below the global average sustainability score of 55.

Interestingly, the survey highlights that emerging markets show a greater inclination towards sustainability compared to economically mature markets. Countries like India (75), the United Arab Emirates (74), China (70), and Mexico (67) lead the pack, while Japan (32), Germany (46), UK (46), Switzerland (48), and Canada (48) report the lowest sustainability scores.

Martim Avillez Oliveira, Chief Revenue Officer at ESW, notes the geographical dependency of sustainability concerns among consumers. Despite ongoing efforts to promote environmentally responsible choices in the US, factors such as inflation pressures may be influencing consumer behavior.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Sustainability sentiment varies across generations, with younger demographics showing higher concern. Globally, Gen Z and Millennials lead with scores of 61 and 60, respectively, while Gen X follows with 53 and Baby Boomers trail with 49. In the US, Millennials score highest (59), albeit lower than last year (62).
  • A significant portion of global respondents (one-third) identify as environmentally attuned shoppers, scoring 80 or above on the sustainability scale.
  • Awareness of greenwashing is on the rise globally, with 55% of consumers indicating increased awareness compared to the previous year. Additionally, 27% consider a brand’s environmental transparency when making purchases.
  • Luxury shoppers and those valuing brand authenticity are more likely to prioritize sustainability in their shopping habits.
  • Sustainable packaging and shipping options influence purchasing decisions for a considerable percentage of consumers.

The survey emphasizes the importance of concrete actions by brands to attract and retain environmentally conscious consumers. Recommendations include offering sustainable packaging and shipping options, as well as ensuring transparency regarding environmental credentials.

For further insights, the full report can be accessed here.

Methodology: The survey collected responses from an online panel of adults aged 18 and above, ensuring representation from key demographics across 18 countries. Responses were translated into native languages, and currencies were converted to local currencies before being standardized to US dollars for comparison. A total of 18,679 surveys were completed between October 31st and November 14th, 2023.

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