Consumers Are Sick and Tired of Ravaging the Environment
Written by Brandon Kenney on September 9th, 2020
Demand Skyrockets for Sustainable Goods
The world is facing a myriad of potentially catastrophic environmental issues.
The world’s climate is getting warmer, and it is a fact. The earth’s average temperature has increased by 2 degrees F since 1900. As a result, ecosystems are changing in the form of reduced sea ice, increased rainfall, and altered habitat ranges. We are facing an extinction crisis; the UN found that one million species are on the verge of being wiped out. The same study found that there was a 100 million hectare expansion of land used for agriculture in the tropics which adds up to a brutal blow to vital ecosystems. Finally, we are facing a plastic pollution crisis: it is estimated that by 2050 there could be more plastic in our oceans than there are fish.
The public is wising up and consumption preferences are changing
A NYU study found that 50% of growth in consumer goods between 2013 and 2018 came from sustainable goods. These goods delivered $114 billion in sales in 2018, and sustainable products market share grew 5.6 times faster than non-sustainable merchandise. Research by Globescan found that 60% of the world’s population believe that plastic pollution and global warming are very serious issues. In addition, 65% think the health of the environment is a very serious issue. The same study found that 54% of consumers believe living a sustainable lifestyle is a major priority and 37% of consumers currently live this way. Lastly, Pinterest revealed that searches for sustainable living posts are up 69% since 2018. The organization also found that queries for sustainable fashion brands are up 49% and for zero-waste travel are up 74%.
It is time to supply wiser
The business of sustainability is one that will not only generate profits but also help the planet. It is time for businesses to rethink their means of production (rather than just adding new products) to make sure they are sustainable. Recently, Bloomberg reported that the company Unilever has vowed to eliminate fossil fuel usage in its products by 2030 and zero out greenhouse gas emissions by 2039. If more companies follow suit, we could move in a more positive direction for the Earth, rather than a negative one.
Source: “Sustainable Cosnumption: From Aspiration to Behavior Change” by SustainAbility