64% of consumers buy sustainable goods, cost an issue
Two thirds of Irish consumers buy sustainable products sometimes or often, a new survey has found.
The research by Deloitte found the level of sustainable purchasing was higher among those who considered themselves middle-income earners, at 65%.
While among those who categorised themselves as lower income earners, 59% said they purchase sustainable products sometimes or often.
But the Global Sustainability Survey, which includes responses from 1,000 consumers in Ireland, found the cost of sustainable goods has an impact on people’s willingness to buy them.
41% of those surveyed said they had not bought sustainable goods in the last four weeks due to the high cost.
That level rises to 53% of those on lower incomes, compared to 37% of those who are higher incomes earners.
“We can see from the research that cost continues to be a barrier for consumers, and the ability to produce sustainable products in an affordable manner is a key challenge for businesses, given the research, development and production changes required,” said Glenn Gillard, Head of Sustainability at Deloitte.
“Support at policy level through green incentives will also be crucial to enable that transition. With more regulation in this area expected, companies who adopt these practices early and before they are compelled to, can be leaders in the market.”
Nearly half of consumers said they have changed their personal behaviour to take positive action for the climate.
But just 16% claimed that they always, or whenever possible, use lower emission transportation and avoid optional or leisure flights.
“Sustainable travel is a crucial element for Ireland to meet its goals under the Climate Action Plan by 2030, but we can see from this research that we still have a long way to go,” said Glenn Gillard.
“There are encouraging signs that individuals are thinking about alternatives, but the majority of people still continue to make decisions based on other factors, such as cost.”
Nearly a third of those who took part in the survey said they do think their employer is doing enough to address climate change.
One in four of lower self-assessed income earners agreed they were, while this rose to 30% with middle income earners and 49% of higher income earners.
Just over a third of higher-assessed income earners said they had thought about switching to jobs to work for a more sustainable company or a company with less significant environmental impact.
That compared to 12% of self-assessed low and middle-income earners.