Socio-Cultural Trends

Understand consumer intentions and actions towards sustainable lifestyles.

We have conducted several rounds of research over the last year, tracking the changing drivers and behaviors of consumers around the intersection of brands and sustainable living.  Through this research, we’ve observed evolving attitudes related to consumption and environmental and social justice issues during one of the most critically important periods in recent history as we progress into the Climate Decade.

Thousands of US consumers have been surveyed to measure their intentions towards adopting sustainable lifestyles, determine which actions they are taking across the Nine Most Impactful Sustainable Behaviors, and understand the areas where they aspire to do more, as well as how brands can close the Intention-Action Gap. Importantly, we’ve also contextualized this data in the value consumers place on both environmental and societal aspects of sustainable living.

Key takeaways include:

  • 96% of US consumers said they try to live sustainable lifestyles at least some of the time.
  •  One of the biggest hurdles to taking action is  not knowing where to start and a sense of overwhelm, which represents an area where brands can step in and help.
  • Sustainable behaviors that US consumers have most heavily adopted are the ones already embedded in mainstream culture; this affords brands the opportunity to use their collective influence to make sustainable lifestyles aspirational, accessible, and rewarding for consumers at scale.
  • Sustainable behaviors on average declined 3-4% between Q3 2020 and Q2 2021, but women were on average 8% less likely to be engaging in sustainable behaviors, possibly due to the disproportionate effect the pandemic has had on women.


With the simultaneous COVID-19 pandemic, racial and societal unrest, and increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, capstoned by the 2001 IPCC report publication, this research represents an important bellwether for marketers looking to predict and stay ahead of a rapidly changing consumer landscape.

SB Brands for Good Socio-Cultural Trends White Paper
Socio-Cultural White Paper Slide

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