Global environmental sustainability has been impacting decisions of governments and industries for years, and could soon make a bigger push into retail.

Environmental sustainability has been the hot topic of the past decade, having an impact on a variety of markets. The changes as a result of the perception shift have been substantial, with one area in particular seeing a majority of changes.

As customers have become environmentally aware, they’ve turned to retailers and brands that exemplify a similar awareness. Retailers need to understand the importance of environmental retail design, and should begin implementing it as part of retail strategy.

In Australia, 58 per cent of the survey respondents from a Roy Morgan study believed they were “environmentalists at heart”, thus presenting the perfect opportunity for retailers to move into the sustainability space.

Keeping costs down is likely to be the biggest challenge, as sourcing environmental products can be difficult. In the study, 68 per cent thought these products were overpriced, presenting a challenge for retailers.

“Our findings show that shoppers at clothing boutiques and sportswear stores are most likely to believe these items are overpriced,” said General Manager of Roy Morgan Research NZ Pip Elliott.

Retailers moving into the market with more affordable products will likely find themselves in a far better position than competitors deciding to either wait or avoid environmental product adoption.

“Though trade and agricultural supplies customers seem less likely to share this perception of green-friendly products, and some may not think twice about buying them, the fact remains that nearly seven out of 10 do think they’re overpriced,” she [Ms Elliott] said.

Over the next few years – as environmental awareness continues to grow – retailers should begin considering ways to integrate these types of products into current operations.