Consumers Want Clean Info Not Greenwashing

Cost, greenwashing and jargon are among the top worries from consumers when choosing and buying sustainable products and materials for their home, according to new research.

Over half (52%) of people said they would like to buy products or materials for their home that are sustainable and have a positive impact on the environment but think these products are more expensive.

On top of this, 50 per cent worry that a company’s claims around the sustainability credentials of their products or materials for their home may be misleading or inaccurate.


Unhooked Communications

The research, which questioned 2,015 adults and was commissioned by specialist construction and home interiors PR agency Unhooked Communications, also found that 27% of consumers don’t know where to check the information and proof of sustainability claims for products or materials for their home.

Furthermore, nearly a quarter (23%) said they don’t understand the language and terminology used by businesses to explain the sustainability credentials of their products or materials.


Knowledgeable buyers

However, the research found that people do want to make informed choices when buying products and materials for their home. Nearly two-thirds (62%) said they would be likely to check the sustainability or environmental impact of appliances before buying them, over half (54%) said they’d check before buying building materials, and 53% said they’d check before buying home furnishings.

When it comes to checking information about the sustainability or environmental impact of products, there are multiple sources consumers use. A third would check a brand’s own website, nearly a quarter (23%) would look at review sites, 22% social media, 19% packaging and 16% news stories.

Claire Gamble, managing director of Unhooked Communications, says: “Our research shows that for nearly half of consumers (47%) buying products or materials for their home, it’s important to buy from sustainable businesses that reduce their impact on the environment. However, there is some confusion and worries around making sustainable choices for the home.”



Gamble adds: “Before businesses start considering their PR strategies to communicate their environmental and sustainability credentials, firstly they need to make sure they’re operating in a way that genuinely benefits the planet and people, from their business operations and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies through to their manufacturing methods and investment strategies. Secondly, businesses need to have clear evidence to back up what they’re doing, whether its testing and data to support the energy efficiency claims of their products and materials or regularly monitoring and measuring improvements in other areas of their business, such as recycling and reducing carbon footprint.

 “Our research shows shoppers will check several sources when researching the sustainability credentials of products and materials for the home. It’s therefore important for businesses in the construction and home interiors industries to have consistent messaging and proof points across multiple channels, including their website and social media, as well as third party channels, such as review sites and media outlets. Awards and accreditations can also help to build trust and credibility.”


Picture: Consumers are making it plain they do not like to be made to feel unsure about cost and mislead via greenwashing and jargon.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
17th August 2023


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