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Keeping you in-the-know on environmental, social and governance developments

Last month, Stifel Financial Corp. released the results of a new survey of 6,053 U.S. active/causal lifestyle brand consumers ages 18-55 concerning their views and spending behaviors related to brand sustainability. According to the results,

“U.S. consumer views of the importance of brands operating sustainably has reached parity with Europe, but also shows greater consumer concerns about the economy and personal finances. Following three years of near-record inflation, the survey data indicates heightened price sensitivity, just as the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear… While an overwhelming majority of consumers (80%) still believe it’s important for brands to operate sustainably, only a third (32%) highly prioritize sustainability when making purchasing decisions, compared to other factors like good value (68%) and low price (57%). Amid persistent inflationary pressures, consumer prioritization of low price reflected the largest gains year over year (up five points from 52% in 2022).”

A few weeks ago, I wrote that pricing strategies for green/sustainable products should not look to “greeniums” but instead should reflect consumer cost sensitivities. This new survey provides more data supporting the same idea. At least for now, it appears corporate sustainability initiatives should focus on cost savings opportunities to best align with current consumer key buying criteria.

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The Editor

Lawrence Heim has been practicing in the field of ESG management for almost 40 years. He began his career as a legal assistant in the Environmental Practice of Vinson & Elkins working for a partner who is nationally recognized and an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Texas Law School. He moved into technical environmental consulting with ENSR Consulting & Engineering at the height of environmental regulatory development, working across a range of disciplines. He was one… View Profile