Jul 29, 2021
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Consumers seek eco transparency from brands, less greenwashing

Jul 29, 2021

Consumers want more transparency from brands around their eco practices with nearly a third of them thinking not enough is being done, while almost a quarter think there’s too much ‘greenwashing’ simply to improve sales.

Photo: Pixabay/Public domain

That’s according to a study of Bazaarvoice’s Influenster community that said 30% of “consumers believe brands are not completely transparent with their practices when using terms such as ‘eco-friendly’, ‘sustainable’ or ‘green’ in their marketing and packaging. [And] 24% believe brands just use such terms to sell products”.

The company conducted its research among over 1,100 respondents in the UK across age ranges from Gen Z up to Baby Boomers.

And it found consumers believing that “the brands we put our faith into and purchase from have a responsibility to protect both the people and the planet by offering sustainable initiatives (88%)”.

And there “has never been a market more open to it”, we’re told. That’s because as many as 78% of consumers feel it’s important to use brands or products that are described as ‘green’, ‘eco-friendly’ or sustainable. 

Green claims currently permeate both fashion and beauty marketing with ambitious claims being made. But Bazaarvoice said that viral documentaries such as Seaspiracy “question the efficacy of some sustainable certifications” and are clearly having an impact on consumer perceptions.

So how can brands get over the mistrust? The study said that consumers “want to hear more from brands on their sustainability efforts, as long as it’s authentic”. 

Some 60% of consumers will actively search on brand websites, blogs and social media to understand what a company is doing to be more eco-friendly, sustainable or to discover what their ‘green’ initiatives are. 

Overall, they get their information from a wide variety of sources, but search engines are the most popular source (50%), followed closely by Instagram (48%) and influencers (48%).

Ed Hill, SVP EMEA at Bazaarvoice, said: “Uncertainty remains around how the actions of some retail corporations impact the planet, so the key for brands to garner trust and respect is to be open, transparent, and communicative about the ways they prioritise sustainability.

“Fundamentally consumers want to support brands whose values and beliefs mirror their own, and we are now in an age when consumer opinions can be shared on a large scale and directly influence brand perception. Brands need to prioritise engaging with customers, learning from them, and encouraging their feedback, particularly as brands and retailers can now elevate website and social media platforms with the voice of their customers.”

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