The pandemic may be uppermost in people’s minds, but they haven’t forgotten about sustainability – and a majority of Europeans actually think climate change is as important as the COVID-19 pandemic, research shows.

Why it matters

A study by InSites Consulting has uncovered shifting consumer attitudes towards issues around sustainability. Being locked down has in some ways made them even more conscious of issues like air quality and food waste; brands need to make more of their green credentials – if they have them. 

What is sustainability?

Top-of-mind associations with ‘sustainability’ have changed over the course of the past year, in part a consequence of the lockdowns people have lived through. Reducing CO2 emissions is now the primary association, having grown by 19% to push ahead of recycling programs and single-use plastics.


  • As concerns about climate change grow, some brands are using claims around carbon footprints and CO2 emissions as a new “currency”. 
  • Consumers regard retailers – supermarkets especially – as being in the lead when it comes to communicating around sustainability; manufacturers are having to play catch-up. 
  • A majority of people say they’re willing to pay more for sustainable brands but many also wonder why they should have to. 

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Sourced from WARC