While sustainability is good practice for business, it is important to ask the question as to whether or not consumers care about sustainability to understand the extent to which an individual business should commit to sustainability practices.
According to studies conducted by Nielsen, 55% of respondents from around the world expressed a willingness to pay more for goods associated with brands which reflected a commitment to sustainability. It is, however, important to note that a commitment to sustainability does not necessarily mean an increase in price or, for that matter, a decrease in quality.
Millennials responded to the survey with three times the enthusiasm for businesses to have sustainability commitments than Generation X respondents.
A seperate survey found that 81% of consumers would make personal sacrifices to address social and environmental sustainability.
For listed companies with investors, there is also evidence that sustainability practices are beneficial for business. The Bank of Finland found in a 2009 study that listings on indexes such as FTSE4Good and Dow Jones Sustainability has been associated with a contribution to a stock price increasing of an average of 2%. Conversely, a loss of status has been associated with a contribution to a stock price decreasing of 3%.
It is incredibly difficult for SMEs to understand the values and wishes of their customers and clients. If you are a small business owner and want to find out more about what your consumers want to see in sustainability practices and commitments from your business, contact us today to start your journey!