Spanish consumers, increasingly interested in the sustainable development practices of brands

Spanish consumers, increasingly interested in the sustainable development practices of brands

SAP has published the results of a study, conducted in collaboration with Qualtrics, on the occasion of International Mother Earth Day, which will be celebrated on April 22, to learn about the perception of Spanish consumers on sustainability in order to help brands define their strategies.

In general, the level of awareness among Spanish consumers is quite high, since more than 42% of the participants consider sustainability to be a very important issue.

Research focuses primarily on consumer ideas and practices in five areas: food, automotive, fashion, utilities and travel; and it takes into account elements such as transparency, knowledge of the strategies and measures adopted by brands, the willingness to pay more for sustainable products and to be part of a community.

In the case of food, 46% of participants said they would choose a brand recognized as sustainable and 48% consider sourcing sustainable food to be very important. The carbon footprint concerns consumers: 60% of them will want to monitor the carbon footprint of their food brands and 18% say they already do so.

In the case of fashion, 40% of consumers consider sustainability to be a very important factor and only 11% rate this aspect below 4 in terms of the degree of relevance. Indeed, 84% say they sometimes or frequently certify the origin of the raw materials of the products they buy. And 29% say that when buying a product, they take into account the environmental impact of its manufacture.

According to Carlos Daz, SAP Chief Sustainability Officer for Southern EMEA, “to meet consumer interest in sustainable practices, companies need to combine three types of indicators: what customers are asking for in terms of sustainability and what they want to pay; financial information, the key to creating investment and profitability scenarios; and the third, the sustainability data of its operations with emission types 1, 2 and 3, compliance with standards, etc. Only then can companies know what their consumers want, what actions they can afford and how this affects the green profile of their products ”.

46% of consumers say that durability is an essential part of buying a car and 52% take into account the manufacturer’s emissions when making the purchasing decision. In addition, 47% promote the sustainable origin of materials and 45% recycle components at the end of the vehicle’s useful life.

These data show that transparency is essential to improve brand image. Incorporating information on the sustainable provenance of food or clothing into labeling can be an important competitive advantage.


In the fashion world, we hear more and more about clothing recycling, the growth of the second-hand market and pay-as-you-go, but consumers are not aware of the brand’s policies at this regard. Only 50% know that some brands have policies for recycling their clothes and 30% of those who do not know, will be willing to use this type of service.

29% of consumers believe that their public service providers (electricity, gas, water, etc.) do not clearly communicate their sustainable development programs and initiatives and 44% obtain a score below 5 for understanding the actions against change developed by these providers.

Only 32% of users consider it important and take the carbon footprint into account when choosing a means of transport to make a trip, a percentage similar to those who never take it into account (29%).

And only 22% of those surveyed are proud of the complete recycling and reuse of the materials they make.

Ultimately, brands should be more aware of their sustainability policies and the benefits and benefits they bring. Taking into account the relevance that this aspect acquires for consumers.

The price

The importance of the price varies depending on the area in question. In the food sector, 66% of consumers say they are ready to pay more for green products, as long as the price difference is marginal.

When buying a car, 80% of those questioned take into account the environmental impact of services and maintenance and 65% would be ready to buy the green option, to comply with the regulations in force, although 25% are unfamiliar with green maintenance options.

In the case of utilities, 53% cite price as a deterrent when hiring suppliers with sustainable practices, while 23% point to lack of knowledge. Income level sets the tone in this section, as consumers with the lowest income are more reluctant to pay more for sustainable utilities than those with the highest incomes. The percentages are respectively 18% against 21%.

In other words, in the case of food and vehicle maintenance, consumers would be willing to pay more, unlike in the area of ​​utilities.


55% of participants would be interested in joining a food network or community to promote food recycling or sustainable food, although currently only 7% are already members of this type of network. Additionally, 80% of consumers would prefer to be part of a community that rewards the purchase of sustainable products, rather than being part of a loyalty program for volume purchases.


The findings of the study show that brands need to be more transparent in information about the durability of the materials they use; should increase awareness and promotion of their sustainability initiatives, and be aware that users are willing to pay more for sustainable products, provided they know their benefits, as well as participate in communities that promote recycling and the circular economy.

Awareness should be aimed at audiences of all ages, because although young people value sustainability more than older people, they also have more years to buy and therefore need to be. fully convinced.

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