The Influence Group’s strategic consulting and insights company, Pollinate, today revealed that while 89 per cent of Australians consider a sustainable lifestyle to be important, 43 per cent cannot afford to live a more sustainable lifestyle, according to the latest findings of its biannual Pulse survey.
Since 2007, Pollinate Pulse has kept a running tab on Australian society’s relationship with sustainability initiatives, surveying 1000 Australians twice a year (the sample is representative of the national population). The latest numbers paint a picture of a strained consumer, struggling to contend with tightened budgets and a lack of easy, affordable and transparent sustainable options.
Key findings include:
- Half of Australians think Australia is doing too little to protect the environment
- 73 per cent think society needs to become sustainable before it is too late
- But only 35 per cent think it is easy to lead a sustainable lifestyle
- And only eight per cent believe they can always find sustainable alternatives when shopping
- 70 per cent of Australians think it is important for brands to adopt sustainable practices
- But 71 per cent agree it is hard to figure out whether a product labelled as sustainable is actually sustainable
- And 58 per cent of consumers are wary of greenwashing, blaming it for higher prices
- 38 per cent of Australians just want to not feel guilty about being unsustainable
- But 49 per cent feel they are only somewhat knowledgeable about what sustainability actually is, with limited expertise
- Global warming and climate change ranks as the number three concern for Australians at 79 per cent behind the Australian economy (80 per cent) and cost of living (91 per cent)
Pollinate CEO Howard Parry-Husbands (lead image) said: “The latest Pulse findings highlight a classic ‘shifting the burden’ system taking place between business and the Australian public. Simply, this means that while the demand exists for sustainable products, the supply does not meet the demand.
“When faced with additional challenges like the rising cost of living and concerns over the Australian economy, which rank higher than environmental concerns, consumers are feeling increasingly guilty as they struggle with the burden of sustainability being shifted from production to consumption.
“This scenario is dangerous as it reduces the likelihood of addressing the fundamental problem. It is also a real business risk, as a failure by companies and government to change the system and make it easy for the consumer will erode trust at a critical time where every purchase is being carefully considered. Australians have let us know that despite their existential fears, when it comes to sustainability they can’t find it, can’t afford it and don’t trust it. It’s time for business and government to step up with easy and accessible options or risk losing consumers entirely,” he said.
Awarded The Australian Financial Review’s Sustainability Leader of 2022, Pollinate’s latest findings coincide with the announcement of Pollinate Sustainability: a purpose-built division to help businesses tackle meaningful change across the business functions of purpose, process, product and promotion, by delivering solutions that range from marketing and communications to product development and supply chain management.
Pollinate has a 17-year history of solving problems for businesses and government, having worked on more than 150 projects in sustainability for clients including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, MLA, Nike, Google and Bega.
Pollinate is part of the fast-growing marketing and strategic consulting business, The Influence Group, which also owns Social Soup, the largest influencer marketing business in Australia and New Zealand. Together, Pollinate and Social Soup employ 50 people around Australia and have recorded revenue growth of 30% a year over the past five years.
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