Different people attach different meanings to sustainability. When asked about their opinion on what it could mean, some feel it is the ability to support oneself, while a majority of people feel it is the ability to make something last over a long period of time (think about our great cup holder). Some people associate sustainability with the environment even as more and more consumers are being challenged to understand and display an eco-consciousness while making their daily purchases, be they wheelchair accessories or food and beverage products. Therefore a lot of consumers feel sustainability of a business is associated with recycling and preserving the natural resources. However, the use of such terms as ‘green’ or ‘eco-conscious’ only limits the term sustainability. Green doesn’t entirely encompass the range of social, economic and environmental issues that individuals feel sustain themselves. Similarly, as per reports, many consumers while considering sustainable products first think about the effect of the product in the body, on the body and only then outside and around the body, remember BPH plastic issues and how our drink holder doesn’t have any.
As more and more consumers are learning to understand the social, economic and environmental implications of their purchases, their health and wellness motivation goes hand in hand with concerns for the society and environment as well creating 4 zones of sustainability pertinent to purchasing choices. These zones include the economic zone, the social zone, the environment zone and the personal benefit zone. All 4 zones apply to the food and beverage market and many attributes that are associated with quality eating experience such as freshness also strike a chord with sustainability in the food and beverage category.
Natural is a very important term even when it comes to personal care products where chemical free products, and those sealed as not tested on animals seem to get greater preference as far as purchasers of sustainable personal care products are concerned. Similarly, cleaning products used in households, which have a sustainable side are gaining greater popularity. While it was more a process of germ warfare earlier with a combative relationships with the environment, currently, the products encompass many other aspects that restore balance such as nature friendly chemicals which are safe on pets and human beings as certified. Consumers are also learning a lot about the hazards of over the counter medications and supplements due to the greater media coverage of tainted products. Therefore most of the products now seem possess the sustainability claim, whether it is in their formulating, in their packaging or even in the practices used for their manufacturing.