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Research by SmartestEnergy has found that 81% of consumers are likely to buy from a consumer brand with a positive approach to sustainability.

However, brands aren’t doing enough to promote their green credentials as 45% of consumers are unaware of any sustainable practices brands have adopted. This sends a clear message to brands - communicate your green initiatives as this will encourage sales.

“Today’s consumer is savvy and cares about the environment, they realise that we all need to work together to make a difference as we are all responsible,” said Mike Shirley, head of marketing, SmartestEnergy. “Our research shows that consumers’ attitudes towards sustainability influences their relationships with brands. Brands need to effectively communicate what they are doing across their whole business to showcase their green credentials,” he continues.

The study also found that nearly three in five people (57%) feel that it is the combined responsibility of individuals, consumer brands and the Government to help maintain a sustainable future. Consumers are willing to play their part. Nearly three-quarters (74%) said they would use a consumer brand that has adopted positive sustainability practices as part of improving their own environmental impact. However, more than four in five (82%) believe they should not have to pay more to shop with a brand that has a positive approach to sustainability.

Brands need to make sustainability practices clear

Of those aware of a brand’s green initiatives, 81% were familiar with recycling practices and 75% of plastic bag reduction schemes. However, they were far less aware of the ‘big-ticket’ initiatives brands are doing to help the environment, such as ensuring their supply chain meets environmental standards (40%) and investing in their own renewable energy generation (31%). These two received the lowest levels of awareness.

Shirley concluded: “Consumers are only going to become more interested in the environment and what we are doing as a collective to protect it. Our research found that nearly 90% of consumers think it’s important for brands to take action now.

Brands need to make their sustainability practices clear and communicate them effectively so that consumers can make informed decisions.”

> Download the report