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KPMG: Consumers Hold Manufacturers Responsible for Creating Eco-Friendly Products

Jul 15
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UK consumers believe manufacturers have a duty to minimise the environmental impact of products they consume, according to new research from KPMG.

Surveying more than 2,000 people, the consultancy firm asked who should be held most accountable for ensuring that goods are eco-friendly, with 53% of respondents laying the responsibility at the door of the companies producing or manufacturing those products.

Just 15% said policymakers were most responsible, while only one in ten said it should be down to retailers or individual consumers.

The research also discovered that consumer sentiment has shifted firmly in favour of greater product sustainability in recent years.

Two in three Brits said they now care more about the environmental effect of goods that they purchase than they did five years ago, with interest particularly high among the youngest and oldest generations. 

Three-quarters of 18 to 24-year-olds and 68% of those aged 55 and over insisted they now care more about their impact on the planet than they did in 2014, compared to 63% of consumers aged between 25 and 54.

Significantly for manufacturers and brands, the research also revealed that eco-friendly products can be sold at a premium, with respondents saying they would be prepared to pay an average of 8.5% more for sustainable consumer goods.

Dan Thomas, UK head of corporates at KPMG UK, urged the corporate world to “wake up” to consumer demands for sustainability.

“Our research pinpoints exactly where consumers feel the responsibility lies to tackle the Goliath task of making consumption environmentally sustainable, and it’s with the product producers,” he explained.

“Simply having an environmentally-friendly offering is not enough, sustainability needs to be embedded across everything a firm does, so there isn’t a ‘wrong choice’ for a consumer to make.”

Linda Ellett, UK head of consumer markets at KPMG, added that while consumers are currently prepared to pay more for eco-friendly goods, “those who can make these changes without hitting prices too hard will stand out as the winning businesses of the future”.

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