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10 things to consider

when conducting sustainability-related research

Brands are under more scrutiny than ever when it comes to sustainability. But taking the 'right' action is not always simple. Research can be the linchpin of your sustainability strategy, so getting it right at this stage could be your make-or-break moment.

Julie Vigne Senior Research Director 19/04/2023

As consumers’ expectations around sustainability increase, so does the pressure to get it right. To navigate this tricky topic, research is essential. Research will enable you to align your internal sustainability strategy and goals with consumer expectations, allowing you to demonstrate an authentic sustainability strategy.

Why is sustainability research important?

Consumers are wising up, and many are calling for all industries and sectors to move in the right direction and provide sustainable options, without the extra cost.

Get it wrong and you could face accusations of greenwashing (or even green hushing).

The Competition and Markets authority announced in January 2023 that it will be reviewing the environmental claims made on a wide range of FMCG products for ‘concerning practices’, which say: “could include the use of vague and broad eco-statements for example packaging or marketing a product as ‘sustainable’ or ‘better for the environment’ with no evidence; misleading claims about the use of recycled or natural materials in a product and how recyclable it is; and entire ranges being incorrectly branded as  sustainable”.

Get it right, however, and you could be onto a winner.

What you should consider when conducting your research

But researching sustainability can be tricky; limited understanding of the topic, and social desirability bias, are two of the most common pitfalls to avoid, but there are more. We have outlined our top 10 considerations to make the most of your sustainability research.

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