What Sustainability Means to Consumers Report: Tech
Since 2020, every major tech company has put forth ambitious sustainability goals that range from carbon neutrality by target dates to electrification of delivery fleets to better water management for data centers. The goals that tech companies have set for themselves largely line up with consumer expectations: When consumers think of sustainability in tech, they think of better product manufacturing processes, more recycling, better waste management and emissions reductions.
- Tech as the solution: When it comes to sustainability, tech companies are seen more as part of the solution than the problem. There is a significant amount of responsibility placed on tech companies to drive innovation in sustainability. But sustainability means different things to consumers when it comes to tech brands.
- Many are already extending the life of their electronics: Roughly half of consumers have extended the life of an electronic device in some way, whether it’s by recycling, reselling, or just paying more for a device to keep it longer. Getting more people to recycle their devices is a matter of applying a little social pressure—something companies can leverage as part of messaging or campaign strategies to encourage recycling of e-waste.
- Labels won’t work, but laying out specific sustainable plans might: That “carbon neutral” label isn’t doing anything. Messaging is crucial to driving the importance of environmental sustainability goals, even for issues not on consumers’ radar. A good example is water reduction—the public might not list it as a top priority, but messaging testing around water reduction does well with consumers.
The analysis behind this report is drawn from two surveys fielded June 24-28, 2022, and July 5-7, 2022, among representative samples of roughly 2,200 U.S. adults each, with unweighted margins of error of +/-2 percentage points.
About the author
Jordan Marlatt is a lead tech analyst on the Industry Intelligence team, where he conducts research, authors analyst notes and advises clients on emerging technologies and trends. Jordan previously served as chief of staff to Morning Consult’s president and co-founder, and opened and oversaw Morning Consult’s San Francisco offices, onboarding and consulting for the company’s largest technology clients. He graduated from The George Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and political science. For speaking opportunities and booking requests, please email [email protected].