Back in the day, “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” taught little boys and girls about the importance of environmental awareness and sustainable living. Now, these millennials are all grown up — and they are finally able to give back to the planet.
A recent Trends Tracker report indicated that though green and eco-friendly products are pricier than ever, doling out extra cash is not scaring consumers away.
According to the new report, about one-third of consumers say that they prefer eco-friendly options while 50% say they are against GMO foods.
Millennials Are Happy To Buy Less Stuff, But With More Green Value
This survey confirms a 2015 Nielson report that indicated changes in buying behaviors. The report claimed that consumers are now happy to pay extra for sustainable and eco-friendly products. In fact, more and more people, especially millennials, are willing to sacrifice quantity for quality; they are buying less stuff, but with more environmental value. This is in spite of the fact that millennials are now living in one of the toughest economic conditions that have been witnessed in the past century.
The Heart of the Matter
A huge part of the reason is emotions. Nowadays, people, especially young individuals don’t just want to buy a product; they want to buy a lifestyle that aligns with their values. Millennials are now becoming much wiser and more risk-averse when it comes to spending their money. With difficult job markets and budget constraints, millennials spend their money more carefully than the generation before them and are buying fewer material things. However, when they do purchase, they are increasingly leaning towards buying eco-friendly products, though they may be more expensive. These people would first go to brands that advocate pro-animal messages, sell chemical-free products and implement ethical and sustainable business practices.
When browsing the shelves at Sephora, young women are now first considering whether a brand is cruelty-free, not how pretty the shade of the lip gloss is. They are asking questions about how biodegradable the packaging of their eye makeup palette is and whether the ingredients in their foundation are harming the planet. Young, newly married couples are now considering buying energy efficient lightings for their new home, not because they would decrease their electricity bill, but because they would result in lesser emission of greenhouse gases. In fact, people with mountains of money are choosing to spend it smartly, say, to buy a hybrid/electric car, rather than one that runs on gas.
More and more people are increasingly saying they use and dispose of products in ways that achieve the intended benefit for the environment.
A report by Stanford University revealed that about 90% of CEOs believe that sustainable practices should be the future of the business world. These entrepreneurs have taken steps to ensure this by developing sustainable and green products and services, taking out sustainability reports and creating new positions like Chief Sustainability Officer and Climate Change Analyst.
In fact, the trend seems to spring from business schools; 88% of which believe that businesses should prioritize social responsibility and environmental considerations. Moreover, fresh entrepreneurs are positioning their brands around the ecosystem. This has given rise to a number of positive start-ups that are focused on green, recycled and sustainable products and services.
It is clear that consumers now prefer eco-friendly brands. However, businesses should focus more on bringing the proper message to their consumers, so that they understand what their brand is trying to achieve by going green. Otherwise, their consumers may end up buying from their competitors that might not care about the environment at all. It is now time to live clean and keep it green.