At the end of last year, Garnier commissioned an international consumer survey via Opinion Matters to investigate global consumer attitudes towards sustainability and find out what 2021 resolutions they would be prioritising.
The One Green Step survey was conducted amongst 18,123 respondents from eight countries – UK, France, Germany, UAE, India, Indonesia, USA and Brazil – between December 4 and December 17, 2020.
Majority of consumers eye sustainable lifestyles in 2021
Findings showed 82% were hopeful 2021 would be more positive than 2020, with 44% suggesting COVID-19 had made them take environmental issues more seriously. Worldwide, 81% of respondents wanted to be more sustainable in 2021, with 40% looking to prioritise ‘helping the planet and taking action towards living a more sustainable lifestyle’.
Across the EMEA region, the desire to be more sustainable in 2021 was highest in the UAE with 89% of respondents stating this, followed by 73% in the UK, 72% in France and 65% in Germany. Worldwide, the strongest desires to be sustainable this year came from Indonesia (94%), India (90%) and Brazil (90%). In the USA, 78% said they wanted to be more sustainable in 2021.
“This report proves that 2020 was a wakeup call to protect our planet,” said Adrien Koskas, global brand president at Garnier.
“The research looks at eight countries, across four continents and shows that 2020 acted as a stark reminder that we all need to take steps towards a greener planet,” Koskas said.
Specific sustainable action – plastic reduction, recycling and brand support
Survey findings showed that 40% of those who said 2020 had made them think differently about their behaviours said the pandemic had made them feel more accountable for their actions.
A closer look indicated 69% of consumers wanted to reduce plastic consumption in 2021 – the number-one sustainability priority overall and 65% of consumers planned to prioritise recycling.
Importantly, the study showed 78% believed a green resolution would be easier now than it had been in the past; up to 90% in the UAE - the most optimistic country response.
“Living through COVID-19 has made almost 4 in 10 respondents (who also said it will now be easier to stick to a resolution) re-evaluate their priorities prompting them to opt for greener lifestyles,” Garnier said. And just over one-third (36%) said keeping a green resolution would be easier now because they were more knowledgeable about the environment, with a similar number believing governments would now make more effort to create an eco-friendly future.
The report also highlighted that 36% of people believed brands had a key role to play in helping society live more sustainably, with 32% prepared to take ‘small green steps’ if brands helped them do so. And even greater number of consumers (44%) said companies had a duty to offer brands that aided a sustainable lifestyle and 43% wanted more environmental information about products they used and said they would consider switching to a more environmentally friendly brand.
Garnier environmental impact scores – rollout across UK, Germany and USA in 2021
Last year, Garnier developed a digital labelling system that scored the environmental and social impact of a product from A to E, rolling it out firstly for haircare products in France back in June 2020.
Part of L’Oréal’s wider 10-year sustainability plan and Garnier’s Green Beauty initiative, the online system had been developed considering 14 planetary impact factors, including greenhouse gas emissions, water scarcity, ocean acidification and impact on biodiversity, measured at every stage of a product’s life cycle. The methodology had been developed by 11 independent global experts between 2015 and 2016 and given the thumbs up by a separate group of experts in 2020, ahead of the launch.
Following the initial rollout in France, Koskas said Garnier would launch the online environmental impact score system for haircare in the UK, Germany and USA this year via the Garnier website.
“The aim is to empower our consumers to take on green step by making a more sustainable choice,” he said.
In November, last year, Garnier also launched a line of zero plastic waste solid shampoo bars, packaged in FSC-certified cardboard that it said drove the sustainable alternative squarely into mass beauty.
*Green Beauty is highlighted as one of CosmeticsDesign-Europe's top five beauty trends to watch in 2021, where planetary health will start to work its way deeper into the hearts and minds of consumers. Take a look at our in-depth coverage on these top five EMEA beauty trends to watch and take a look at our video revealing our top 15 global 2021 beauty trends to watch, covering the Americas and APAC region as well.