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How sustainability is fundamentally changing consumer preferences

For CPR organisations, green is the new black

As the hands of the Doomsday Clock inch towards midnight and consequences of climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss, and resource scarcity become impossible to ignore, people are waking up to the urgent need for change. Together with governments, public-interest groups, investors, competitors, and employees, consumers are increasingly calling for a more sustainable, environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and economically inclusive tomorrow. But are CPR organisations heeding this call?

We wanted to find out. In the Capgemini Research Institute’s latest report, Consumer Products and Retail: How sustainability is fundamentally changing consumer preferences, we surveyed 7,500 consumers and 750 large organisations and spoke with sustainability leads from large organisations to understand how sustainability influences consumers’ purchasing patterns and how organisations are responding.

We found that consumer preferences are strongly impacted by sustainability. In fact, eight out of ten consumers are making sustainability-based purchase choices, even as the COVID-19 pandemic casts its long shadow. In response, CPR organisations are looking to make sustainability practices a strategic priority. However, consumers aren’t always aware of the environmental footprint of the products they purchase or able to act on their good intentions. Organisations, for their part are out of sync with consumer views, and unaware of the pace at which consumer preferences and loyalty are shifting. Moreover, they are also failing to scale sustainability, missing out on key benefits, including loyalty, employee churn, ESG performance, sales protection, and growth.

That’s why organisations should position technology at the core of sustainability initiatives, educate consumers and empower employees to deeply embed sustainability, build in robust governance for sustainability, and collaborate with the broader ecosystem. After all, the clock is ticking.