Willing Consumers: Taking Action for Environment

Published on:
by KnowESG,

Alibaba Group

KnowESG_Alibaba study on growing environmentally conscious consumerism
Image courtesy of https://ethicaldesign.co/

A remarkable shift in consumer attitudes towards sustainability has emerged, with an astounding 73% expressing a desire to lead more sustainable lives.

The desire for eco-conscious living is especially pronounced in emerging Asian markets, where an overwhelming 87% seek to embrace sustainable practices.

However, while the intention is strong, consumers face hurdles in their pursuit of sustainability, primarily due to inconvenience and perceived high costs. This enlightening revelation comes from "The Sustainability Trends Report 2023," an independent research effort commissioned by Alibaba Group.

The study, spanning 14 markets across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, sheds light on the importance of convenience and affordability in driving behavioural changes and the need for businesses to foster trust and transparency with consumers.

The Quest for Convenience and Affordability

For consumers to embrace sustainable choices, convenience and affordability emerge as pivotal factors. With 53% of respondents emphasising convenience and 33% advocating affordability, businesses must align their strategies accordingly.

By offering easier access to sustainably conscious options, companies can empower consumers to make environmentally friendly choices. In this realm, Alibaba stands uniquely positioned to address the "say-do" gap by reducing inconvenience barriers, expanding sustainable options, and optimising supply chains to maintain reasonable costs. This holistic approach to sustainable consumption not only benefits the environment but also fuels long-term development within the digital economy.

Building Trust in Sustainable Products

A significant challenge faced by businesses revolves around gaining consumers' trust in their claims of sustainability. Alarmingly, only 15% of consumers express complete confidence in the authenticity of sustainable product claims.

This scepticism is particularly acute in European markets, demanding a more robust effort to establish trust. Businesses must go beyond mere assertions and substantiate their commitments through transparent practices backed by data. By bridging the "say-do" gap, companies can foster greater empathy and cooperation with consumers on their shared journey towards sustainability.

Alibaba's Commitment to Sustainable Progress

As a trailblazing digital platform, Alibaba leads the way in addressing environmental concerns and contributing to a sustainable future. With a pioneering approach to decarbonisation through its Scope 3+ disclosure, the company continues to drive substantial carbon emission reductions throughout its ecosystem.

Through its innovative carbon ledger platform, Alibaba engages a staggering 187 million consumers in carbon emission reduction activities, underscoring the remarkable impact of its sustainability initiatives. Furthermore, the company's extensive lineup of low-carbon products, boasting 1.91 million items from 409 brands, exemplifies Alibaba's dedication to offering sustainable choices to consumers.

Embracing Sustainability Globally

The research reveals a global surge in consumer interest in sustainable living, albeit with regional variations in engagement. While 76% of respondents seek more information on sustainable practices, certain markets display a particularly enthusiastic appetite for knowledge.

In the Philippines (93%), Indonesia (91%), and UAE (90%), consumers are most eager to embrace sustainable lifestyles. Online platforms play a crucial role in promoting sustainable choices, with an impressive 73% of respondents expressing openness to learning about making eco-conscious purchases online. Emerging Asian markets demonstrate exceptional enthusiasm for sustainable online practices, signifying a progressive shift towards environmental consciousness.

Overcoming Barriers and Enabling Change

Although consumers exhibit a genuine interest in sustainability, several obstacles impede their transition to eco-conscious lifestyles. Insufficient information regarding product sustainability (48%) and prohibitive prices of sustainable items (45%) top the list of barriers.

Significantly, half of the consumers prioritise convenience as a pivotal factor in embracing sustainability. Businesses can play a transformative role by making sustainable products more affordable (61%), reducing single-use plastics and packaging (55%), and expanding their range of sustainable offerings (47%). Through these efforts, businesses have the opportunity to cultivate a sustainable mindset and facilitate lasting change.

As the world embarks on a collective journey towards sustainability, businesses must seize the opportunity to inspire change and foster trust with consumers. The "say-do" gap can be narrowed through transparent practices, data-driven initiatives, and a genuine commitment to sustainability.

Alibaba's unwavering dedication to a greener future exemplifies the transformative potential of responsible business practices. Together, consumers and corporations can forge a path towards sustainability, ensuring harmonious coexistence with our planet for generations to come.

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Source: Alibaba

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