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29 September 2021
Children put sustainability on households’ radar
SustainabilityChild lifestyles & attitudesEnvironmental & social issues
Children are the most important influencers in making daily household shopping habits more environmentally responsible, a new report says, although it also finds more than three quarters of households admit they either don’t care about the environment or are doing little or nothing to reduce waste.
Three types of household
Who Cares, Who Does, a global sustainability study from Kantar (based on 90,000 respondents in 26 countries), reports that almost half of households (49%) say the COVID-19 pandemic has made sustainability more important to them and identifies three three categories based on their actual behaviours.
Eco-actives (22% of households, up from 16% in 2019 and projected to hit 40% by 2025): Shoppers who are highly concerned about the environment and are making the most of actions to reduce their waste. Family, mostly children, were identified as the biggest influence (36% of respondents), after product packaging, in shifting habits.
Eco-considerers (40% of households): Shoppers worried about the environment and plastic waste but are not taking many actions to reduce their waste.
Eco-dismissers (38% of households): Shoppers who have little or no interest in the environment and are making no steps to reduce waste.
Who is the greenest?
Germany has the largest Eco-actives segment – accounting for 46% of households in 2021, followed by Belgium and Hungary. Of the more economically advanced countries, the Netherlands and the US have the lowest incidence of Eco-actives. At just 7% of households, Saudi Arabia is the country with the lowest penetration of Eco-actives.
What worries people most?
Climate change (42%), water pollution (36%) and plastic waste (34%) topped the list of environmental concerns, while barriers to sustainable behaviour included products being harder to find or more expensive (59%), being distracted while shopping (33%) and uncertainty over what action to take (22%).
Takeaway for retailers
“A good choice of local products and affordable options are the most important sustainability factors shoppers consider when choosing a store for their shopping. Fewer people are looking for a specific sustainable section” – Guillaume Bacuvier, CEO, Kantar Worldpanel.