The report, The Changing Climate of Sustainability, suggests that two driving factors – the role of governance in mandating sustainability and the exploding costs of climate change on value chains – will lead to rapid change over the next five to ten years in the area of sustainability, forcing brands, retailers and consumers alike to commit to sustainable business models.
This is likely to lead to greater transparency, with some 78% of consumers saying companies should be mandated to give full transparency into their supply chain so shoppers can make informed choices.
In addition, on the retail side, 79% said they were very likely to choose a particular retailer if they offered a wider assortment of sustainable options in-store.
At the same time, global consumers also state that factors such as cost (41%), access (35%) and a lack of clarity (26%) are stopping them from adopting more sustainable lifestyles.
“Consumers around the globe are more committed to sustainability but have found it difficult to make daily decisions that create real impact," commented Nicole Corbett, vice president global thought leadership, NielsenIQ. "They want help to live and consume in a sustainable way that aligns with other daily pressures. It’s critical to note that they also think that the responsibility to lead sustainability lies with retailers and manufacturers.
"Unfortunately, examples of greenwashing and inaction mean they have varying levels of trust in these parties to deliver. We are now at a tipping point, where companies that have been proactive and genuine about climate action will be at a massive advantage as industries scramble to meet requirements and mandated sustainable efforts."
Corbett added that the coming years will likely see a "great deal of scrambling" by consumer goods firms as companies realise that "it's crunch time".