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Commitment to sustainability adds value to a brand : BBC News study

Findings from BBC Global News survey looking at automotive, technology, and finance industries.

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Mumbai: Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability adds value to a brand, according to two waves of surveys conducted by BBC Global News to understand how consumers in APAC and across the globe feel about sustainability.

The survey focused on three industries – automotive, technology, and finance.

It found that 81 per cent of respondents thought that demonstrating a commitment to sustainability adds value to a brand. 79 per cent surveyed agreed that sustainable practices and commitments are an important consideration when making purchase decisions. 68 per cent were happy to pay for more brands with strong sustainability and eco-friendly practices. 57 per cent said they would stop buying a product they were previously loyal to, if they discovered it was not committed to sustainability.

For the 27 brands surveyed across the three industries, on average, half of all the consumers said they are not aware of the brand’s sustainability practices. Finance brands ranked the highest with 63 per cent of consumers being unaware of their sustainability practices.

Consumers believe that it is important for all brands’ sustainability practices to involve research and education, according to the survey. 83 per cent of consumers believe that brands should invest in education about the importance of sustainability and 79 per cent agree that brands should be financing research for sustainable practices.

The research showed that, for consumers across the region, brand trust is seen as the most important brand association, indexing particularly high in the automotive and technology sectors at 87 and 83 per cent, respectively, with finance scoring at 63 per cent.

66 per cent of respondents said that interviews with an international news partner are the most influential way for consumers to learn about a brand’s CSR, followed by branded content within a premium environment at 39 per cent.

“These results demonstrate the importance that consumers place on a brand’s sustainability credentials and show that they are willing to use their wallets to make their feelings known," said BBC Global News’ senior vice president, commercial development, Alistair McEwan. "For brands to retain loyalty from their customers, they need to be absolutely clear about their commitment to taking action.  Those that fail to do so open themselves to criticism, so it is vital that brands shape their narrative and communicate their message in a transparent and authentic way and working with trusted storytellers like the BBC will enable that."

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