Green marketing: Sustainability interest wanes

Marcia Roosevelt
Saatchi & Saatchi New York
Kelly Petrich
Saatchi & Saatchi S

A US study looking at how willing people are to change behaviour towards more sustainable brands found that men and high earners were the least likely to buy green products.

We have been referring to people as consumers for so long, we don't even hear ourselves saying it. Yet, as overconsumption compromises the planet's health and people's health, we question whether the very idea of consuming and consumption requires a cultural evolution. If so, what is the model for future growth and what values might we instead adopt to replace the buying culture at the heart of the global economy?

The 'green' movement of the 1990s and early 2000s offered an alternative set of values, attempting to shift the consumption dialogue from 'more consumption' to 'quality of consumption'. In addition, businesses and media have been touting Millennials, 18 to 29 year olds, as a sustainability-oriented generation that could ignite a consumer revolution. Studies and anecdotal evidence pointed to preferences within this group for collaborative consumption patterns such as car sharing; increased civic engagement, and a desire for vocations that advance the common good over a primary focus on financial gain.