Survey Finds Even Environmentally Indifferent Consumers Want Sustainable Shipping Options

According to Sifted, a leading logistics-data science platform, eco-conscious consumers are on the rise, and they want to buy from brands committed to being part of the climate change solution. As e-commerce continues to boom, this news bodes well for the corrugated packaging industry, whose products are made from renewable virgin or recycled fiber, are manufactured using mostly renewable carbon neutral energy, have an 89% recycle rate, and can be produced in an infinite variety of shapes and sizes to meet specific shipping needs.

In a recent survey of U.S. consumers conducted by Sifted, two-thirds of respondents said a brand’s eco-friendly shipping practices influenced a purchase decision. Only 21% of respondents say they never research a company’s eco-friendly practices before buying.

Frequent online shoppers are even more conscious of eco-friendly shipping practices. Eco-friendly practices are either “important” or “very important” to 72% of respondents who receive five or more packages per month, compared to 65% of those receiving one or two per month.

The bar is set even higher for name brands. Among respondents saying brand name is “very important” in purchase decisions, 51% frequently research a company’s eco-friendly practices before buying. In contrast, only 7% of the same group never investigate eco-friendly practices. In the past five years, 46% of brand loyalists have become “significantly more aware” and “care significantly more” about eco-friendly shipping practices. In addition, 91% believe packaging materials have a moderate or high impact on environmental sustainability.

81% of consumers believe companies use excessive packaging. Even less eco-conscious consumers think package sizes are getting out of hand. Of those that say eco-friendly practices are “not important” in their purchasing decisions, 56% still feel that most companies use excessive packaging. Even among participants that say they never research a company’s eco-friendly practices, 62% think it’s excessive.

The environmental impact of this isn’t lost on consumers, who overwhelmingly agree that packaging affects sustainability. 66% believe package size has a moderate to high impact on sustainability, and 74% believe packaging materials have a moderate to high impact.

The survey also found that 57% of consumers are willing to pay an extra 10% or more for eco-friendly shipping.  84% who place moderate or high important on shipping speed said they would be willing to wait an extra day for eco-friendly shipping while 66% said they would wait two extra days.

You can download the full Sifted survey report here.