Retail Marketing Summit: 45% of Aussies unaware of environmental impacts of their consumption choices

Research presented by Daniel Pankraz, strategy partner at The Works, part of Capgemini, at the Mumbrella Retail Marketing Summit yesterday, found that 57% of Aussies believe environmentally friendly products are not affordable, and 45% are unaware of environmental impacts.

Globally, conversations around the circular economy and regeneration are growing in substance and importance. 100 billion tonnes of resources are thrown out every year around the world and less than 10% of that is recycled. The presentation suggested that in the near future the world will not be able to supply the resources needed to keep up with human demand.

“By 2050, we will need the resources of another planet to provide for humanity,” Pankraz said.

Daniel Pankraz on stage at the Mumbrella Retail Marketing Summit, 2023

Yearly, 33% of all food produced is wasted, while 85% of textiles end up in land fills, along with 5.3 billion phones.

The circular economy is an “important step for the future” to help lower these statistics and keep pace with humanity, Pankraz asserted.


Source: The Works, part of Capgemini

In Australia, consumers are making conscious shifts in their behaviours, with 74% buying more durable or long lasting products, and 62% considering not buying things, to reduce their personal consumption.

51% of Australians buy zero waste products when available, and 55% repurpose products. 47% of Aussie consumers are interested in buying exclusively from brands that concentrate on sustainability/circularity.

Despite these promising statistics, Pankraz said Australia still has a long way to go.

“We all know we have to do something about it,” he said. “Sustainability is almost like a burning platform.”

He suggested Australians have a lack of mainstream awareness, with 45% unaware of the environmental impact their consumption choices have, and 57% believing environmentally friendly products are not affordable.

Australians are also heavily addicted to convenience culture, with an average of 53.6% not wanting to compromise on convenience.

Source: The Works, part of Capgemini

60% of Australians cite a lack of information on product labelling as a reason for not taking circular actions, while 63% do not trust recycling or refurbishing claims made by brands.

However, people want brands to take accountability. 70% want brands to be more responsible when advertising products, and not encourage excess consumption. 66% want brands to incentivise circular actions through discounts, buy back options or loyalty points.

The Capgemini Research Institute global circular economy survey was completed in September 2022. The Australian sample had 650 respondents.


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