Consumers don’t know what ‘circular economy’ means – but are willing to spend on it

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New research on the circular economy has found that almost half of Australian consumers are willing to pay extra for a product produced using sustainable practices.

Research from app comparison site GetApp found that 49% of consumers are willing to pay more for products they perceive to be sustainable, and 78% of consumers think recycling could be one way the most effective way to stimulate the circular economy. .

Which is a bit new given that we’ve been hearing for quite a few years that consumers have good intentions but that they don’t necessarily go into their pockets.

Unfortunately, the survey revealed that only 13% of the 1,013 survey participants actually knew what “circular economy” meant.

Worse still (but perhaps not surprising given our ‘lost decade’ of conflicting government interventions to end sustainability), the survey found that the level of awareness of the circular economy concept in Australia is low. compared to other countries such as the Netherlands, where one in three people are familiar with the concept.

Andrew Blair, analyst at GetApp Australia, said the results revealed that consumers have expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s actions to reduce waste, and that it is essential that companies educate their consumers about what they are doing to be greener.

“On the other hand, consumers expressed positively that companies sincerely believe in the need to implement practices aligned with the circular economy, albeit at a cost to the company.

“There is a division of consumers willing to pay more for products made according to the principles of the circular economy. Therefore, companies looking to establish themselves in the market for sustainable products must think carefully about their marketing approach by informing their customers and raising their awareness of the circular economy.

However, businesses should be wary of jumping on green messaging too soon.

A new report from Mobiquity reveals that almost half of Australian banks are at risk of greenwashing. It comes as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission last week announced a crackdown on false environmental claims.

The study found that 43% of Australian banks do not effectively measure ESG impact against their sustainability goals – and, more worryingly, highlighted that around half of all banks completely ignore ESG reporting .

Gustavo Quiroga, Managing Director of Mobiquity in APAC, said: “For the banking industry to truly show its contribution to creating a positive impact, standardized and consistent reporting on ESG objectives will have to be implemented, as well as the need for regulation of when and where these reports occur. are delivered and stored. This will help circumvent the reporting complexity challenges that the industry is currently facing. »

It seems that going green will require a radical rethinking of our economic practices, especially our consumption.

In Europe, the European Parliament has approved a new law expected to come into full effect by 2024 to force Apple to introduce a single charging port for most electronic devices. (Looks like we’re not the only ones frustrated by this.)

The first law of its kind in the world, the reform was passed by a large majority in the European Parliament to make USB-C connectors used by Android-based devices the standard across the bloc.

It will also apply to laptops from 2026.

Shares of European semiconductor makers STMicro and Infineon rose immediately after the vote.

And in other news on the tech front, there’s a growing buzz in the industry as digital twins are set to revolutionize the built environment. Or so the hype would have us believe.

Procore, a global provider of construction management software, is the latest company to announce a partnership with smart infrastructure and real estate provider Willow, to offer digital twin solutions to customers.

The partnership enables Procore, which has completed more than one million projects on its platform, to deliver a more streamlined digital record system from build to operation.

Willow’s digital twin software, WillowTwin, transforms data into a virtual replica of a building, enabling users, including Transport for NSW, to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs and improve management sustainability and security of Internet of Things (IoT) operational technology in their facilities.

We recently spoke with digital twin specialist Paul King of infrastructure engineering software company Bentley Systems, who said in The fifth power podcast that digital twins are pretty much revolutionizing the built environment industry, helping designers and engineers make better choices when it comes to building design and maintenance.

And Willow’s chief executive and co-founder, Joshua Ridley, said the trend was towards transformation of the industry.

“We believe digital twins will transform the built environment,” he said.

He said the partnership with Procore was an opportunity to deploy the technology faster across the industry.

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