Consumers Are Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Products. Here’s Why

phone screen with recycle icon on white eco friendly net bag

For the past few decades, environmental sustainability has been one of the foremost issues. As a global community, we’ve known for some time that our actions are damaging to our planet. Unfortunately, it’s only continued to get worse.

Consumers know this. As our planet continues to suffer, consumers are becoming more vigilant in their shopping practices and searching for sustainable products. Now that we have access to more information than ever, consumers are spending more time researching the companies that they choose to support, and their shopping decisions are based on much more than the quality of the product. They also care about the larger issues.

Environmental sustainability is a big one.

But, don’t just take our word for it. Here’s a rundown of what consumers find important and why sustainability needs to be your priority if you want your company to remain competitive.

consumers checking food label

The Consumer Sustainability Survey (2019) found that 72% of consumers buy more environmentally-friendly products than five years ago. While this statistic is telling on its own, what’s more telling is that 81% of those interviewed said that they planned to buy more  sustainable products over the next five years.

And environmental consciousness isn’t a new trend among consumers. In 1989, 67% of American consumers stated that they were willing to pay 5 – 10% more for sustainable products. This shows that sustainability has been on consumers’ minds for quite some time, and it’s only going to become a more important issue as time goes on.

But, eco-friendly products aren’t just a plus for consumers. 59% of those interviewed in a 2020 survey by Trivium Packaging stated that they were actually turned off by unsustainable packaging. This means that if your company isn’t paying attention to their eco footprint, you could be losing a sizable number of customers.

Are consumers willing to pay more for sustainable products?

consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products

So, consumers clearly care about sustainability and whether the companies they support are eco-friendly. But, support is one thing; are they willing to put their money where their mouth is?

According to statistics, they are. The same Trivium Packaging survey mentioned above also found that 74% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products. On top of that, around a quarter of those willing to pay more are willing to swallow an increased price of 10% or even more.

A Nielsen report from 2015 said that Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2000) are even more likely to pay more, and the following generation, Generation Z, seems to be trending in the same direction. Therefore, sustainable issues aren’t just a modern fad. They’re an important issue that companies must consider in their greater business plan.

What does this mean for your company?

This clearly means that sustainable products and practices need to be a priority if your company is to remain competitive. You must start making sustainable choices now—offering eco-friendly  packaging, investing in environmental programs, limiting your environmental footprint—so that you can remain in business. These choices aren’t just the right thing to do; they’re an imperative choice that you must make for the longevity of your company.

But, this doesn’t mean that you can simply place an eco-friendly label on your products and call it good. Consumers are also savvy. In fact, 85% of consumers conduct research online before buying a product. If your sustainability solutions are shallow, your consumers will know about it, and that could harm your brand. 

You must make sure that the solutions for your business are both legitimate and add to global long term sustainability pursuits. 

What can your company do to become more eco-friendly?

One step in the right direction is to invest in something like plastic credits to help offset your plastic production. Although this should only be your first step toward more sustainable practices, purchasing plastic credits will help fund projects that reduce ocean-bound plastic, get rid of nonrecyclable plastic in an eco-friendly way, and support waste pickers who are instrumental in cleaning up plastic waste.

But, you shouldn’t stop there. You can also incentivize your consumers to use reusable bags by offering discounts, investing in sustainable packaging (which, as the above statistics show, consumers are willing to pay more for, which will offset the additional cost), and developing new methods to decrease your environmental footprint overall.

How can TONTOTON improve your company’s sustainability?

reduce or neutralize plastic footprint

Plastic credits purchased through TONTOTON fund projects that eliminate non-recyclable plastic waste in a sustainable and lasting way. Through our four pillars, you can be confident that your plastic credits go toward meaningful, certified projects that are transformational and sustainable.

The four pillars are:

  1. Collection of ocean-bound plastic: We focus on plastic heading to the ocean so that we can collect it before it can cause damage to oceanic ecosystems and wildlife.
  2. Collaboration with local communities: We work with communities and waste pickers to ensure that they are fairly compensated and enjoy safe working conditions.
  3. Valorize plastic waste collected: We use co-processing to ensure that the plastic waste collected is managed in a safe and sustainable way.
  4. Certification of our process: Our solutions are audited by a certified 3rd party to ensure that our projects truly eliminate plastic waste in a sustainable way.

We also encourage our corporate partners to enact their own sustainability protocols beyond purchasing plastic credits. Although plastic credits offer a simple solution to offsetting your plastic waste, to truly ensure the reduction of ocean-bound plastic, your company must make changes to limit its plastic use and production.

Through the purchasing of plastic credits and your own sustainability initiatives, you’ll show consumers that sustainable goals are your priority, therefore encouraging loyal customers and potentially growing your consumer base.

Sustainable practices aren’t just the right thing to implement for the health of our world; they’re key to keeping your company competitive in the modern market. Start making sustainable changes today.