According to the research, consumers list climate change as their second most important global worry. Compared to the previous 2017 study, this concern increased from 26% to 41%. For forests specifically, the research found increasing concerns about the loss of plant and animal species and the impact of deforestation on climate change.
‘Consumers’ sustainability concerns also appear to increasingly influence their shopping choices, with over 80% of shoppers saying they expect companies to ensure their wood and paper products do not contribute to deforestation,’ explains Jeremy Harrison, chief markets officer.
The survey found that 86% of consumers try to avoid products that damage biodiversity and around seven in ten want to choose products that don’t contribute to climate change. Jeremy states consumers pay attention to these factors when choosing wood-based products and packaging and expect companies to ensure their products don’t harm the environment.
When asked about influences on their purchases of wooden products, protecting animals and plants and sourcing from sustainably managed forests were among consumers’ biggest motivators, nearly on par with product quality; while for paper or cartonboard products, these motivators were even higher than product quality. Consumers’ belief in their own potential impact is also growing.
‘Independent certification also influences product choice among shoppers, with nearly eight in ten consumers believing sustainability product information should be certified by an independent organisation,’ comments Jeremy, adding that there is a steep upward trend in people’s interest in companies’ social and environmental impact. ‘The opportunity for ecolabels is growing, highlighting the value that brands can gain from partnering with trusted certification systems.’
According to him, the FSC label is a powerful tool to help consumers make more sustainable shopping choices. ‘Consumers purchasing FSC-certified products trust that FSC is effective in protecting forests with seven in ten shoppers feeling motivated to buy a product when they see the FSC label.’
The research shows that FSC’s visibility and trust are rising globally, reflecting a strong trend towards conscious consumerism. ‘Fifty-four percent of consumers express high levels of trust in FSC’s role to protect forests above all other actors, including governments and companies.
‘These findings inspire confidence that consumers appreciate the vital role forests play in tackling major sustainable development challenges and that consumers recognise and trust FSC as part of the solution,’ Jeremy concludes.
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