KResearch has conducted a survey on consumer behavior and their views on problems related to environmental sustainability and tendency towards ESG investment. Key findings are summarized, as follows:
Pollution and natural disasters are problems that consumers have found to affect their daily life the most, leading them to recognize the importance of related issues and change their behavior in order to help alleviate environmental problems. These include reducing and avoiding the consumption of single-use disposable packaging, or using products or packaging made from biodegradable materials, or separating wastes or using recycled products. Consumers have increasingly considered using tools or equipment that are environmentally friendly. However, only a few consumers attach importance to the use of public transportation.
Meanwhile, consumers are willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly products and services, but not exceeding 20 percent of their value. Factors that they consider when purchasing such products and services are reliability of the related manufacturers or service providers, quality and safety of products/services, and whether such products/services can help mitigate environmental impact. Consumers also anticipate that manufacturers and the business sector introduce more environmentally-friendly products such as biodegradable packaging, products made from recyclable materials or wastes, and refillable products in a bid to reduce wastes. They are keen to purchase foods, beverages and consumer products that use environmentally-friendly materials.
Regarding ESG issues, most consumers are of the view that the business sector should embrace ESG as part of their business operations, and their investment decisions will be based on ESG criteria. They intend to allocate approximately 10-20 percent of their investment portfolio in companies that have ESG-related operations, particularly those engaging in the renewable energy, biotechnology and F&B technology businesses. Some consumers, however, view that ESG investments may offer low returns over the short-term and will likely sell their financial assets if the businesses that have invested in encounter problems related to ESG.