Consumers hold businesses accountable for environment

Research by KPMG has found that over two-thirds (67%) of Brits say they care more about the environmental impact of the consumer goods they buy today compared to five years ago, but they mainly feel it is the responsibility of manufacturers and producers to tackle the issue.

In the poll of over 2,000 consumers, when asked who they feel should be most responsible for ensuring the goods they buy are environmentally-friendly, over half (53%) of respondents said the companies producing or manufacturing products. Only 15% of respondents point to policymakers and only one in ten think it is the retailer’s responsibility (9%) or their own (10%).

Dan Thomas, UK head of corporates at KPMG UK, said: “The corporate world has to wake up to the strength of feeling towards sustainability. Our research pinpoints exactly where consumers feel the responsibility lies to tackle the Goliath task of making consumption environmentally sustainable, and it’s with the product producers.

“The fact that only one in ten consumers believe it is down to themselves to change the impact of their consumption, demonstrates the scale of the challenge for producers and manufacturers. Simply having an environmentally-friendly offering is not enough, sustainability needs to be embedded across everything a firm does, so there isn’t a ‘wrong choice’ for a consumer to make. Consumers will continue to demand the same products and the same quality, but with minimal impact on our planet. It is a huge ask, but one that must be met if businesses are to remain relevant in the years to come.”

The youngest and oldest generations are notably more engaged in the fight to make consumer goods more environmentally-friendly. Over three-quarters (76%) of those aged 18 to 24, and 68% of those 55 and over, said they care more about their impact on the plant than they did five years ago. By comparison, only around 63% of those aged 25 to 54 said the same. On the whole, respondents say that they would be willing to pay an average of 8.5% more for environmentally-friendly consumer goods.

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