Inside Simbiosi | Week 3
Following the classes about green marketing, CSR and the “Sustainable 4Cs”, the class was split into four groups to analyze different articles about different aspects of consumer behaviors.
The first article, by Deloitte, addressed four main topics: food consumption, circular economy, the true value of sustainable products and what consumers look for in a company, and the barriers that restrict the trust of consumers. Starting with food consumption, the article reported a change in people’s attitudes in the kitchen: more recycling, less waste and single-use plastics. Then, Deloitte disclosed individuals and families to be more keen to repair their broken electronics rather than replacing them with new products, bringing the concept of circular economy back to relevance. Afterwards, the article showed findings of consumers still having a quite generic notion of what sustainable means. About this, Deloitte highlighted the values that consumers look for in a company, such as respect for human rights and their employees. Eventually, the report talked about the barriers that restrict the trust of consumers, such as the suspicion of greenwashing, the higher costs of “green” goods, etc.
The second article, done by the European Environment Agency (EEA), explains how demand for circular products and services is driven by consumers and producers, and the strategies that can be implemented to accelerate the process and boost circular economies. These strategies involve focusing mainly on the needs of consumers as individuals and considering 4 basic aspects of consumer behavior: economical, social, product differentiation and individuality. Concluding that policymakers and corporations should focus on the consumer as an individual, communicate how the needs are fulfilled, and implement tactics to spark demand for products and services that sustain an eco-friendly economy.
The third article, written by the group Growth for Knowledge (GFK), discusses the barriers to eco-action. GFK points to price, lack of functionality, or other life duties which take precedence. The group focuses on mutually beneficial action, with the tagline “good for me good for the planet”, breaking consumers into three groups; Eco-actives, green by accident, and glamor greens. With the increased cost of living, there is a developing conflict for consumers between sustainability and inflation.
The fourth and final article was published by McKinsey&Company on the prioritization of sustainability in the consumer sector. The writers Gatzer & Magnin go on to explain their research on whether consumers and companies alike are truly paying attention to sustainability or if they are just “acting” that they are. There are two main stances, some consumers are saying sustainability is becoming even more important since covid-19 while others are saying that sustainability has been overshadowed by other world issues. However, with the research and evidence collected by Gatzer & Magnin, it was clear that the pandemic is actually creating momentum for the fight for sustainability.
These readings were used to understand consumer and cooperation actions around the idea of sustainability. This will help to further guide our research of Sibiosi.