The report, From Marketing to Mattering, is based on a survey of 30,000 consumers in 20 countries. The study was commissioned in response and as a companion to the UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study on Sustainability, published in 2013, in which two thirds of CEOs admitted that business is not doing enough to address sustainability challenges, similar to the 73 percent of consumers in the latest research that say businesses are failing to take care of the planet and society.
The two studies reveal that, although CEOs see engagement with consumers as the most important single factor motivating them to accelerate progress on sustainability, they are often out of step with what motivates consumers to buy sustainable products and services.
Several key factors influencing the purchase of sustainable products noted in this study include:
- Consumers need to be aware of positive impacts
- Consumers need to believe claims
- Consumers need to be able to more easily find product
- Consumers want to personally rewarded
- Consumers want to know more about company and product principles
And finally, to no surprise, consumers are also critically concerned with cost. Although many consumers are willing to pay a higher premium for green, healthy or sustainable products, many others still heavily weigh cost in making final purchases, and this is what most CEO's are still focused on in their leadership roles.