Most Americans Think Sustainability Should Be The New Normal

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By Newsdesk Manager

Two-thirds of Americans believe sustainability should be the “default” for companies, according to new research.

The survey of 2,000 general population Americans revealed that 67% believe sustainable products and services should be the standard for companies, not something they need to search for.

And 44% would go so far as to remove unsustainable options from the market entirely — saying companies shouldn’t be able to sell them.

Commissioned by Avocado Green Mattress and conducted by Talker Research, the survey revealed 71% would like to see more regulations in place, to ensure products and services are sustainable.

This may stem, in part, from failed attempts to be sustainable in the past: 32% have purchased something from a company they thought was sustainable, only to find out later that it wasn’t.Twenty-two percent even admit they’ve “given up” trying to purchase a sustainable product or service because of how difficult it was to find.

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Despite the difficulties they might face, the survey found respondents have a desire to be sustainable.

Ten percent said they “always” purchase sustainable options; for those who don’t always do so, 73% said they’d like to do so more frequently.

The expense of sustainable options was the No. 1 thing stopping respondents from purchasing them more often (57%), followed by difficulty in telling what’s actually sustainable (48%).

Respondents also said a lack of availability (30%) stops them from purchasing sustainable options — and others don’t have time to research what is and is not sustainable (26%).

The survey asked respondents if they felt knowledgeable about different sustainability and ethical certifications for products or companies: 9% said they’re “very knowledgeable,” while 29% said “somewhat knowledgeable.”

“Certifications not only protect human health by ensuring quality and safety standards but also protect our environment by verifying sustainable sourcing, manufacturing and business practices,” said Christine Carpio, Sr. Manager, Community + Social Impact. “They can also help guide customers to choose brands dedicated to creating products that are better for people and the planet, ensuring our choices today resonate responsibly tomorrow.”

Half of respondents (51%) were “extremely” or “very” likely to purchase something when it had a certification they were familiar with.

But just the presence of a certification impacts respondents: 22% said even if they’re unfamiliar with the specific certification, seeing it would make them “extremely” or “very” likely to make the purchase.

The survey put Americans’ knowledge of certifications to the test — and found respondents might have more to learn.

When provided several definitions and asked which described “Certified B Corporation,” only 17% of respondents selected the correct answer: A company meets high standards of verified performance, accountability and transparency.

And they were less knowledgeable about “Green America” — only 6% correctly said it means, “A company is committed to using business as a platform for social change.”

On the other hand, 34% were familiar with the “Forest Stewardship Council” certification: selecting the right option, “Products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.”

“Greenwashing is a challenge. In reality, most brands don’t have the certifications or environmental credentials to back up their claims,” said Laura Scott, Director of Brand Marketing. “Certifications can help consumers determine whether a brand is trustworthy or if they’re being duped by false advertising.”

      Produced in association with SWNS Research

      (Additional reporting provided by Talker Research)