Survey: Most consumers say brands engage in 'greenwashing'

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Greenwashing poll
Graphic courtesy of PicoNext.
Greenwashing poll
Graphic courtesy of PicoNext.

As sustainability becomes increasingly important to the public, the overwhelming majority of consumers believe that brands aren’t being truthful with their environmental claims.

Ninety-one percent of consumers in a new poll from PicoNext say that they believe at least some brands engage in “greenwashing.” Still, according to the Digital Product Passports: Unlocking Sustainability Transparency report, 71% of consumers believe that sustainability is important to them when making a purchase decision, and 67% of consumers add that they are more likely to purchase a product with more sustainability information.

"Our global survey data reveal that increased transparency is key to bridging the gap between what brands are saying about sustainability, and what they are actually doing,” said Dave Dickson, founder of PicoNext, an end-to-end platform for brands. “By surfacing transparency data using a Digital Product Passport, brands can show the actual impact of their sustainability efforts, resulting in authentic connection with Gen Z and Millennial customers.”

Sustainability poll
Graphic courtesy of PicoNext.
Sustainability poll
Graphic courtesy of PicoNext.

According to the survey of 1,001 online consumers in the United States and Europe, recyclability was the top product attribute that increases the likelihood of purchase for eco-conscious shoppers at 56%. Other attributes include type of materials used (44%), anti-child labor statements (39%), waste reduction efforts (39%) and clean energy use efforts (38%).

Consumers surveyed said that the top reasons of access to sustainability attributes on product include the ability to verify the authenticity of the product (34%), the ability to verify a brand’s sustainability claims (33%) and the ability to locate recycling services (33%).

PicoNext noted that sustainability can be the first step in gaining new consumer engagement. Alongside sustainability information, consumers noted that brands also have the opportunity to engage them with ways to collect rewards for being a loyal customer (46.5%), to receive product or service updates from the company (36.3%), and to see related product offers (32.5%).

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