IBM Study COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted 9 in 10 Surveyed Consumers' Views on Sustainability
Global research reveals majority of consumers are willing to pay to support a sustainable future
ARMONK, N.Y., April 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated consumers' focus on sustainability and willingness to pay out of their own pockets – or even take a pay cut – for a sustainable future, according to a new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) survey of over 14,000 consumers in nine countries.
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Nine in 10 consumers surveyed reported the COVID-19 pandemic affected their views on environmental sustainability, and COVID-19 was the top factor cited in influencing their view – more than others presented such as widespread wildfires/brushfires, disasters due to weather events and news coverage on the topic.
The survey also revealed differences in consumer opinion across geographies, with Americans surveyed reporting the least concern about sustainability topics. For example, only 51 percent of US consumers surveyed said addressing climate change was very or extremely important to them, compared to 73 percent of respondents from all other countries.
"The survey showed respondents worldwide are increasingly concerned about the global climate crisis, and we have also observed businesses in many industries looking to take action to meet their customers' and investors' expectations and manage their own environmental goals," said Dr. Murray Simpson, global lead for sustainability, climate & transition, IBM Global Business Services. "We see many companies beginning to make strides to build transparent supply chains or improve energy management to reduce carbon emissions with the help of innovative technologies like AI and Blockchain."
According to the survey, many consumers are increasingly willing to change how they shop, travel, choose an employer and even where they make personal investments due to environmental sustainability factors.
Many surveyed employees are willing to accept a lower salary to work at a sustainability-conscious employer
According to the survey, 71 percent of employees and employment seekers surveyed say that environmentally sustainable companies are more attractive employers. In addition, more than two-thirds of the full potential workforce* respondents are more likely to apply for and accept jobs with environmentally and socially responsible organizations – and nearly half surveyed would accept a lower salary to work for such organizations.