Daily Archives: August 18, 2014

Do As I Say, Don’t Do As I Do!

As promised, today is Masquerade Monday.

There’s a lot of hype about the importance of ethics and sustainability to today’s consumers and how companies that aren’t sustainable and ethical are at risk of consumer boycotts and bankruptcy.

But is this really the case?

In an attempt to answer this question, Trade Extensions commissioned Fly Research to conduct two general public awareness surveys to answer the question. Fly Research collected 1,000 responses from US consumers and 1,000 responses from UK consumers. The results were not quite what you might expect.

While 47% of UK and 48% of US consumers say they “try to buy from companies with a good record on sustainability and ethics, but don’t always“, when asked what was important when shopping for goods only 9% of UK and 16% of US consumers rank “ethical company/brand” in the top 3 attributes. In contrast, 87% are more concerned with value for money, 76% are more concerned with price, and 73% are more concerned with quality I’d expect.

Furthermore, when given the choice, only 31% of US and 19% of UK companies are much more likely to buy from companies with proven policies on sustainability and ethics. And, furthermore, while 90% state that they would be happy to pay a little more if they knew that an item was sustainably sourced, the majority, 47%, would not pay more than 5% extra!

In other words, while the masses say they want sustainability and ethics, they want sustainability and ethics only as long as it doesn’t cost them anything.