Sustainability experts back ‘choice editing’ to hasten transition to sustainable consumption

Sustainability experts strongly believe that companies have a duty to practice “choice editing” for consumers, the lastest GlobeScan/SustainAbility tracking reveals.
GlobeScan and SustainAbility regularly poll a panel of experts in sustainability issues across businesses, NGOs, government, and academia on emerging trends in sustainability. The panel was polled during September about their perspective on sustainable consumption, and the results reveal that while experts feel strongly that sustainable consumption is achievable, they have doubts about the degree to which it is compatible with economic growth, and also feel that companies have a duty to hasten the transition by restricting the choices available to consumers. Nearly four in five (78%) think that businesses have a duty to offer sustainable product lines instead of, rather than as well as, unsustainable ones.
With sustainable options still associated with premium pricing in many sectors, this perspective is likely to be challenging for companies, particularly during hard economic times, but it reflects how the terms of the debate are shifting. Another challenge is that GlobeScan consumer tracking also reveals that many people are skeptical about the claims that companies make for the responsible credentials of their products, citing “greenwash” as a major barrier to adopting more responsible consumer behavior. Sustainability champions within businesses will need to address both these issues if “choice editing” is to become a reality.
Finding from The 2011 GlobeScan/SustainAbility Survey
This post was written by former GlobeScan Research Director, Sam Mountford.