A slight majority of consumers — 54 percent — claim to have familiarity with the term “sustainability.” However, of those who do, many are unable to appropriately define the term, according to a study by The Hartman Group, Bellevue, Wash. Although they might not be able to identify popular corporate terms such as lifecycle assessment, considered design and packaging size reduction, the same percentage of consumers simply want to hear that a company represents principles and values that they agree with.
After they’ve made their purchases, The Hartman Group found that 77 percent of people try to abide by the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra. In fact, the survey found that packaging initiatives are one of the few areas of common ground between consumers and manufacturers. Despite the lack of knowledge in some areas of sustainability, many consumers equate smaller packages with a smaller footprint, the “Gnomenclature on Sustainability” report showed. In addition, the typical consumer indicated that recycling as well as thinking about packaging and its impacts are elements of daily practices that require few sacrifices of time or energy, The Hartman Group reported.