Do you put your money where your mouth is?

Sixty-six percent of global respondents say they are willing to pay more for sustainable goods, according to the 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report.


Nielsen polled 30,000 consumers (across all regions, income levels and other categories) in sixty countries across the globe. Consumers were asked how much factors such as the environment, packaging, price, marketing, and organic, health or wellness claims influenced their decision to buy a certain product (or not).


45% of consumers surveyed take the environment into consideration when choosing a product. And 59% look for products that are both good for them and good for society instead of buying products that might be cheap, but are in fact expensive when you consider their impact on the environment.


But I can’t help but wonder....


If these promising figures are true and “consumer brands that haven’t embraced sustainability are at risk on many fronts,” as stated in the article, then why do discount-stores like 'Action' do so well and even win consumer prices like best store-chain two years in a row?

Action sells mostly small, low budget, non-food products and had a turnover of just over two billion euros in 2015 with sales in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Austria. Will stores like Action still be so popular if their products are suddenly the same price as elsewhere? I wonder...


In amongst others The Netherlands we had a “waste disposal fee” until 2013; an extra amount you had to pay on top of the price of a product like a washing machine, fridge or vacuum cleaner to make it possible for producers and importers to dispose of the products in an environmentally-friendly way. Why do we not re-install this fee for unsustainable and wasteful products? Have consumers pay an extra ‘tax’ on products that harm the environment either during the production process or after use or for products with a short life-span. Let’s make it easier for consumers to choose wisely.


Call me a cynic, but how many of the sixty-six percent of those global respondents do you think actually put their money where their mouth is?


Talk is still cheap.


Elske van der Horst

May 2016


Elske  |  2016 05 19  |  Permalink  |  Share


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