Cost of living crisis is impacting consumers' sustainable behaviour.

This year’s UN Climate Conference takes place in Sharm el-Sheikh, against: a backdrop of extreme weather events worldwide; an energy crisis, propelled by the war in Ukraine; and scientific data, reiterating that the world is not doing enough to tackle carbon emissions and protect the future of our planet. With banks announcing a severe recession and citizens around the world affected by rising inflation, concerns over how the cost-of-living crisis will affect climate commitments is increasing.

Kantar data reveals that despite the desire to become more sustainable, current prices are consumers’ main barrier to sustainable living. 65% of consumers want to do more to be more mindful of the planet and the environment, but the increased cost of living prevents them from doing so.

For its Sustainability Sector Index 2022, Kantar surveyed 33000 consumers in 32 countries to understand their sustainability attitudes and behaviours. The report finds that:

  • Sustainability products are still perceived to come at a premium. 68% of consumers believe that better products for the environment and society are more expensive​

  • Even eco actives, who are prepared to spend more money to reduce their impact on the planet, feel the impact of the cost of living on their sustainable lifestyle

  • Alongside price, knowing the sustainable alternative options is the second major barrier for sustainable behaviour – 57% feel that it is really hard to tell which products are good or bad ethically, or for the environment.

How can we expand our sights from a laudable focus on sustainable consumption to a wider discussion of mass adoption? At Kantar we believe that understanding the fuels and frictions behind the value action gap and helping to close it is a driver of mass adoption.

Download the report.