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Rising cost of living and lack of information make it difficult to adopt sustainable behaviors

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In Brazil, only 14% are effectively changing their lifestyle

Although 97% of people around the world are prepared to adopt more sustainable behaviors, high prices and the lack of knowledge on the subject are the main barriers for consumers to be able to adhere to this lifestyle – this is what points out the Sustainability Sector Index 2022 study (Sustainability Sector Index 2022), carried out by Kantar.

The survey is based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations (UN) and identifies, among 38 business sectors, which are the most urgent issues to be addressed within their respective categories, and how the Brands can make it easier for consumers to act more sustainably.

In Brazil, 99% of respondents declare that they want to have a sustainable lifestyle, but only 14% are effectively changing their behavior. There are two main reasons for this: 75% want to do more for the planet, but the high cost of living prevents them, and 43% do not know where to find sustainable products or what habits to adopt to help more.

Main Concerns

Among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), water pollution and child labor are the main issues consumers believe companies should be concerned about. Water pollution is considered the biggest problem for urban citizens and those over 26, and is the number one concern in the Americas. On the other hand, child labor and labor exploitation are the most cited topics among the population in rural areas and among young people under 25 years of age.

In Brazil, four of the five main concerns are social, with precariousness of work, poverty and violence present as the main issues. Before tackling global-scale concerns, however, industries must first resolve their underlying issues. According to the Kantar survey, waste control is at the top of consumers’ agenda.

They expect companies in 24 of the 38 industries to find solutions for excess and non-recyclable packaging, landfills, overconsumption and waste. Decarbonization appears in second place. Companies in 15 of the 38 sectors have strong negative associations with carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions, which lead to global warming.

Divergent behavior

Although consumers point out what they want to see in companies, they themselves differ when it comes to putting these actions into practice. Only 29% worldwide are part of what Kantar calls Actives – who are prepared to invest time and effort to reduce their impact on the planet.

In Brazil, in turn, the population is mostly formed by Considerers (48%). These are the individuals who are still in doubt whether they can make a difference through their choices, especially women (51%) and those aged between 18 and 34 (49%).

Among the attitudes to contribute to a more sustainable planet, reducing food waste, taking reusable shopping bags, reducing energy consumption at home and recycling are the actions that the public is most willing to take.

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