Consumers are increasingly pushing for brands to be more transparent about their eco-friendly practices. According to a study conducted by Bazaarvoice’s Influenster community, 30% of consumers believe that brands are not completely transparent when using terms like ‘eco-friendly,’ ‘sustainable,’ or ‘green’ in their marketing and packaging. Additionally, 24% of consumers feel that these terms are simply used as a ploy to boost sales.

The research surveyed over 1,100 respondents of various age groups in the UK, and it also revealed that consumers expect brands to take responsibility for protecting both people and the planet by offering sustainable initiatives. In fact, a whopping 88% of respondents agreed that brands have a responsibility in this regard. Moreover, a significant 78% of consumers consider it important to support brands or purchase products that are described as ‘green,’ ‘eco-friendly,’ or sustainable.

However, the market is plagued by greenwashing, which is eroding consumer trust. Documentaries like Seaspiracy have sparked doubt about the effectiveness of certain sustainable certifications, thereby impacting how consumers perceive brands. To regain that trust, brands need to demonstrate authenticity in their sustainability efforts.

The study found that consumers want to hear more from brands about their sustainability initiatives. Approximately 60% of consumers actively seek information on brand websites, blogs, and social media to understand how a company is becoming more eco-friendly or to learn about their green initiatives. The most popular sources for information are search engines (50%), Instagram (48%), and influencers (48%).

Ed Hill, SVP EMEA at Bazaarvoice, emphasized the importance of open and transparent communication for brands to build trust and respect. He stressed that brands should prioritize engaging with customers, learning from them, and encouraging their feedback. Nowadays, consumer opinions have the power to be widely shared and directly impact brand perception. Therefore, it is essential for brands to align their values and beliefs with those of their target consumers.

In conclusion, consumers are demanding greater transparency from brands regarding their eco-friendly practices and actively seeking information on sustainability efforts. Brands that can provide authentic and transparent communication about their environmental initiatives will be better positioned to earn the trust and support of environmentally conscious consumers.

Useful links:
1. Sustainability Communications: Focused on Accountability, Not Apologies
2. The Three Biggest Challenges Brands Face When Crafting Their Sustainability Narratives