WHAT THE DATA SAY: 59% of execs admit to overstating or inaccurately representing sustainability activities
By: Ray Day
We wanted to share our latest consumer and business insights, based on research from Stagwell. Among the highlights of our weekly consumer sentiment tracking (fielded Apr. 7-9):
WORRIES ABOUT ECONOMY UP AGAIN
Today, 88% of Americans are concerned about the economy and inflation – up 3 points from last week and up sharply from December’s 82% rate.
- 83% worry about U.S. crime rates (up 3 points)
- 82% about a potential U.S. recession (up 2 points)
- 76% about political divisiveness (up 2 points)
- 72% about affording my living expenses (up 2 points)
- 72% about the War on Ukraine (up 3 points)
- 56% about a new COVID-19 variant (up 1 point)
- 50% about losing their jobs (up 4 points)
ECONOMY, PUBLIC PRESSURE MAKE ESG LESS OF A PRIORITY
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts have slipped on corporate priority lists due to tougher economic conditions. That’s according to our annual sustainability survey of top-level executives in 16 countries with Google Cloud.
- ESG efforts fell from the top priority last year to third this year, with many business leaders claiming they were being pressured by “external parties” to de-prioritize sustainability.
- 45% of executives believe the current economic climate is regressing sustainability efforts.
- 85% of respondents acknowledge that customers want to engage with sustainable brands.
- Yet 78% are forced to achieve sustainability-based results with reduced budgets.
- 72% claim they wanted to advance sustainability initiatives but do not know how to do so – up from 65% in 2022.
- Corporate greenwashing is listed as a major concern, with 59% admitting to overstating – or inaccurately representing – their company’s sustainability activities.
- 9 in 10 organizations are talking publicly about sustainability commitments, but only 58% are moving programs into the implementation phase and even fewer (22%) are measuring against targets.
- 72% of respondents attend at least four sustainability-related meetings every quarter.
- 63% are willing to risk lower revenue in the short term to ensure sustainable development in the long term.
MILLENNIALS FINALLY ARE HOMEOWNERS, BUT IT’S A STRUGGLE
More Millennials finally own their homes than rent, a milestone that’s taken longer than previous generations. However, homeownership still feels out of reach for many, according to our survey with Fortune.
- 52% of Millennials owned a home by the end of 2022.
- Millennial renters have an appetite for homeownership, as 88% would like to own a home someday (versus 76% for all renters).
- 69% of Millennials feel priced out of the current real estate market.
- 56% of Millennial renters believe the dream of owning a home is dead.
- 78% are worried about affording their living expenses (versus 63% for Boomers).
- 60% are worried about losing their job.
PETS OVER PARTNERS
Whose happiness is more important: your pet’s or your partner’s? If you’re a member of Gen Z, you’re more likely to say your pet’s happiness is paramount, according to our survey with Zillow.
- 60% of Gen Z think pet-friendly features are essential for the home they buy.
- A majority of Gen Z pet owners say it’s more important to have a pet-friendly home (55%) than a kid-friendly home (45%).
- 48% think a fenced backyard is a must-have, but they aren’t so concerned about having a double sink in the bathroom (28%), a home office for their partner (35%), a playroom for kids (24%) or an outdoor play set (11%).
- 73% of home buyers have at least one pet at home.
- 22% of Gen Z pet owners would want to move out of their current home if it was no longer working for their pet. That compares to only 12% who would want to move if their home was no longer working for their partner.
- In fact, 13% of pet owners who live with a significant other would rather share their primary bedroom with their pet than with their partner.
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