Trend alert: conscious consumption

What we buy can and will be influenced by our attitudes to climate action, according to a recent Deloitte survey.

Using data collected from a survey of 23,000 people across 23 countries, the Deloitte Sustainable Actions Index shows what motivates people to act more sustainably and how those decisions impact the choices we make.

A ‘typical’ sustainability standard-setter identifies as female, 25-44 years old, high income, has at least one child at home, has experienced at least one climate event in the last six months and has felt worried or anxious about climate change recently.

It’s not surprising that the Australian sustainability standard setters are those with children who care deeply about their kids’ future, Deloitte national consumer product and retail lead, Vanessa Matthijssen, says.

“This is a substantial part of the population making key purchasing decisions,” she explains.

“There’s a real opportunity for those businesses who offer sustainable products supported by sustainable practices as the trend of conscious consumption continues to gather pace.”

Indeed, 63 per cent of respondents with children at home felt worried or anxious about climate change compared to 55 per cent among those without children.

Despite 72 per cent of overall respondents describing climate change as an emergency, the report shows a strong link between action and optimism with 72 per cent of sustainability standard setters saying they are optimistic about the world’s climate prospects.

“As business leaders, there is a real opportunity to create a narrative of hope that will drive widespread behavioural change,” adds Deloitte climate and sustainability executive leader, David McCarthy.

“As the report says, we shouldn’t sugar coat the challenges but emphasise a way forward rooted in action.”