When it comes to the perceived importance of sustainable purchases, not all categories carry the same weight. In the UK, consumers feel that product sustainability is most important for purchases for the home, according to recent survey data from analytics company GlobalData.
“Some 33.3% of consumers buying furniture and floorcoverings selected 9 or 10 on a scale of importance for product sustainability,” says Emily Stella, lead analyst at GlobalData. “This exceeded food and grocery (32.8%), and health and beauty (32.7%).”
However, home retailers aren’t leading the way in sustainability efforts compared to other sectors, Stella says.
“It’s supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s with a newly launched pledge to become ‘net zero’ by 2040, and department stores, such as John Lewis with its ‘sustainability edit’ (106 items that are responsibly sourced) that are doing much more in the field than specialist home retailers.”
As for consumers’ view of retailers’ sustainability success, general merchandise retailers lead. And in the home category, IKEA continues to be a sustainability standout.
“Home shoppers score general merchandise retailers M&S and John Lewis in the top three for being environmentally friendly, while other home specialists fall lower in the ranking; scores for Oak Furniture Land, Harveys and Sofology have all dropped since last year,” Stella says. “IKEA, however, remains an outlier, ranking first, and is the only retailer among the top five whose score has markedly increased over the last three years (M&S’s score has increased marginally this year compared with last).”