Global Outlook on Sustainability: A Consumer Study 2023
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Mintel’s 2023 Global Outlook on Sustainability: A Consumer Study is designed to help you understand what brands and companies should prioritise in order to educate consumers and ensure that your…

Global Outlook on Sustainability: A Consumer Study 2023

$ 4,995 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Mintel’s 2023 Global Outlook on Sustainability: A Consumer Study is designed to help you understand what brands and companies should prioritise in order to educate consumers and ensure that your responsible products, campaigns and policies have a wide appeal in the marketplace.

What is the Global Outlook on Sustainability?

The report tracks and analyses three years of data on consumers’ priorities, behaviours and activation points. This is supported by an in-depth commentary on the past year’s environmental, political and corporate events, alongside a showcase of over one hundred best in class product and campaign innovations selected by our global pool of analysts.

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What has Changed Consumers’ Attitudes Towards Sustainability?

People have undergone a bracing reality check, experiencing extreme weather events and rising energy and food price rises, bringing us to a major tipping point, where customers think like businesses, where “sustainability” has gone from being a “premium nice to have” to an issue that is impacting on our health and wallets.

  • The proportion of consumers who believe that their country is suffering from climate change are now in the majority (at 51%), representing an attitudinal shift of 7 points between 2021 and 2023. 
  • As the FAO’s Food Price Index has escalated, so have the proportions of consumers feeling that food is “becoming unaffordable” – up four points to 44%.
  • The ascent of water shortages from fifth to third place in consumers’ leading concerns at 35%  is symptomatic of a population directly impacted by – as opposed to increasingly informed about – climate change, marking a new era where environmental concerns become pressing issues of self-preservation and a desire to conserve resources for future resilience. 

Reasons to be Cheerful and Routes to Activation

Our analysis also reports on how conflict in Ukraine has potentially brought forward the transition to renewables by five to ten years and why the ‘green arms race’ between the protectionist investment policies of America, China and the EU represents a zeitgeist moment for brands to build momentum around.

A staunch majority still believe that their personal actions can have a positive impact, opening opportunities for responsible consumer-facing businesses to build loyalty. 

Our research reveals how consumers want this to be achieved by companies reducing their own carbon emissions rather than resorting to “Carbon Offsetting” programs outside of their own area of business and we explore the on pack information and marketing metrics they are seeking to inform responsible choices and the degree to which triggers around value, health and community can go towards closing the value action gap and converting them to action.

Are you Ready to Secure your Businesses’ Sustainable Future?

The Global Outlook on Sustainability report comprises 40,000 consumer interviews across 16 global markets and over 100 inspirational product, policy and campaign innovations from leading brands, start-ups, scientists, advertisers and NGOs. As part of your purchase, you also get access to our 2023, 2022 and 2021 online Interactive Databooks, featuring granular demographic data across the 16-market survey.

Order your copy today and ensure your sustainability choices and messaging align with consumers’ aspiration with our unparalleled global consumer study.

About the Author

Author Richard Cope is a graduate of the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL) Sustainable Business Management programme, a senior Mintel consultant and regular speaker and media commentator.

Sustainability is no longer just a “nice to have” for consumers. It has become a crucial issue that impacts both their health and wallets. As a result, companies are realising that embracing sustainability is not just responsible, but it also delivers a return on investment.

Richard Cope
Senior Trends Analyst

Table of Contents

Part 1: How consumers are feeling

  • Reality check: Consumers focus on emissions and resources
  • Consumers join up the dots…
  • A warmer front expected
  • Climate change as a public health threat..
  • Climate change in 2022: A disastrous year
  • Unprotected and uncovered: The economic disaster of climate change
  • Natural disasters are projected to escalate
  • Plastic pollution: The rise and slight decline of a sustainability symbol
  • Water shortages are the world’s fastest-growing concern …
  • Food shortages and rising prices
  • Food shortages raise prices
  • Energy security: Questions of morality and resilience.
  • Consumer optimism: Holding firm
  • Reasons to be cheerful: Energetic political momentum
  • A green arms race
  • Consumers and the political issues
  • Consumers are against hiding emissions in trade
  • Working in a job to combat climate change.
  • Broadening the definition of ‘working to fight climate change
  • Conservation resonates above talk of biodiversity
  • Carbon offsetting in crisis?
  • Sense of impact intact

Part 2: The year in Sustainability: Behaviours and Action

  • Convenient, frugal behaviours dominate
  • Consumers look to reduce personal overshoots
  • Consumers reduce food waste
  • Reducing consumption: Fashion
  • Food Behaviours: Reduction rather than conversion
  • Why meat and dairy reduction is key
  • What’s in the basket? Consumers’ weekly shop
  • Organic purchasing has a platform to build upon
  • Is organic becoming more competitive in Europe?
  • Transport: Micro gets macro
  • EV
  • Home energy: China is the new land of the rising sun
  • Heat pumps on the rise
  • Purchasing considerations: Consumers’ hard lines harden.
  • Ranking markets by their engagement and action levels

Part 3: Activating Consumers

  • Consumers’ social priorities and actions
  • Consumers’ environmental priorities and actions
  • Appealing to the human element
  • How consumers think the goals can be achieved
  • Nuclear, NIMBYs and renewables
  • Forests: To chop, plant or conserve?
  • Upcycling chimes with the times
  • Don’t fear the reaper: Consumers and future foods
  • Partnerships for the goals: Who’s most responsible?
  • Partnerships in state corporate finance
  • Packaging responsibility
  • Big state, please.
  • All stick and no carrot?
  • The new, green, legal eagles holding business account.
  • Consumer concerns and innovation
  • Who is innovating and where?
  • Can carbon capture be scaled?
  • Responsible production: New naturals in mainstream fashion
  • Oh, really? The value/action gap on a weekly basis
  • How consumers feel they can have an impact.
  • Where do consumers actually have an impact?
  • Perception vs implementation
  • Where do consumers actually have an impact?
  • Activism and education
  • Converting consumers through communications
  • Converting consumers: Seeing and feeling is believing
  • Advertising: Raising consciousness whilst lowering impact
  • Behaviour is driven by reduction rather than proactive consumption.
  • Sustainable behaviour is for everyone
  • Close: Changing self-perception, behaviours and touchpoints to trigger
  • Data Appendix
  • What’s next?

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