A new report by global financial institution ING reveals, consumer attitudes have reached a tipping point, leading them to avoid brands that don’t prioritise sustainability and environmental issues. Despite demanding change, customers will continue to prefer the linear ‘convenience economy’ model of ‘take, make and waste’ unless a more seamless transition towards circular economy is offered.
The report, titled ‘Learning from consumers: How shifting demands are shaping companies’ circular economy transition’ demands more convenient sustainable options for consumers in order to create meaningful engagement with the circular principles of reduce, reuse and recycle. Around 83 per cent respondents believe their behavior and choices can have a positive impact on addressing global environmental challenges. Furthermore, 61 per cent say they would be less willing to buy a company’s product if they discovered it was performing poorly on environmental practices.
The report notes the potentially vast gains for businesses that embrace the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle' principles of the circular economy by aligning with consumers’ changing demands. To better capture the opportunity of circular economy and engage with customers, companies must first understand the barriers to widespread consumer adoption. The barriers include cost, awareness and education, empowerment and reassurance, and circular infrastructure and convenience.