Sustainability to top priorities over next five years

'We are entering a new era of regulatory oversight and consumer skepticism'

Almost two thirds of consumers feel that sustainability is more important to them now than it was two years ago, new data suggests.

A report from Nielsen published this week revealed 76% of global consumers want companies to reduce their environmental footprint, with 77% saying they would stop buying products from a company found guilty of ‘greenwashing’, otherwise known as deceptive marketing.

As a result, the data firm predicts that the retail industry will accelerate its sustainability efforts over the next five years.

President of global thought leadership, Nicole Corbett, said: “Over the last few years, a number of companies have been making the right signals and offering an increased number of products with environmental claims. However, we are entering a new era of regulatory oversight and consumer skepticism where those claims will be scrutinised and challenged, and if companies are not transparent, or found to have over-claimed sustainability credentials – there will be negative consequences.”

She added: “It’s critical to note that [consumers] also think that the responsibility to lead sustainability lies with retailers and manufacturers. Unfortunately, examples of greenwashing and inaction mean they have varying levels of trust in these parties to deliver.

“We are now at a tipping point, where companies that have been proactive and genuine about climate action will be at a massive advantage as industries scramble to meet requirements and mandated sustainable efforts.”

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