Italy sixth in the ranking of countries with a sustainable lifestyle: behaviors relating to food, the purchase of products and services and separate waste collection are good, the results in mobility are below average (only 38% prefer bicycles or public transport). Green products are perceived as too expensive and information is scarce: greater clarity is needed to allow consumers to orient themselves towards informed choices. These, in summary, are the results of a survey carried out by Other consumption together with consumer organizations from 13 other countries.
The survey photographs the level of sustainability of citizens’ behaviors by analyzing 5 areas: food, travel and mobility, water and domestic energy, waste management, purchase of products and services. Each area was assigned a different weight based on its impact on sustainability following the indications of a pool of experts who collaborated on the project.
In the ranking drawn up following the analysis of behavior in the various countries, it emerges that Italy has an average propensity for sustainability. In fact, it ranks sixth, immediately after Germany and Spain, with a score of 53/100 for green lifestyle.
Adopting behavior in defense of the environment is very important for 7 out of 10 Italians. Specifically, there is greater attention regarding the relationship with food and purchases. 71% of respondents try to reduce or avoid food waste and 58% orient the choice of products based on seasonality and origin (preferring the zero kilometer). As for shopping, more than half of the respondents say they limit their purchases to what is necessary, preferring quality and repairable products, whose life cycle is therefore longer. 38% avoid disposables.
The results in the field of mobility however, they show a countertrend. Compared to other countries, on this point Italy is positioned below the average, denoting a propensity towards unsustainable habits. 89% of respondents own a family car but only 53% use it exclusively when needed. A low percentage of citizens (38%) prefer bikes, public transport or a walk for daily commuting.
Average but generally positive results as regards waste management (80% of consumers declare that they do separate waste collection correctly) and of water and energy (as many as 64% declare that they adopt behaviors based on energy saving at home).
Italy has achieved average green results. There are, therefore, some limits for people to adopt completely sustainable behaviors. One of the first obstacles is certainly the price. Products that respect the environment often involve higher costs linked to the quality of raw materials or the presence of innovative technologies. For most of the areas analyzed, costs are perceived as the main obstacle, cited by around 40% of respondents. However, as demonstrated by Altroconsumo in a previous survey, almost 1 in 2 Italians is willing to pay more for products that really have a lower environmental impact. Furthermore, comparative tests show that in many cases the product and the most sustainable behavior are inextricably linked to important savings for the consumer.
“Italians are ready to make choices that are more attentive to the environmental impactand in many cases they already do: but there are still many perceived obstacles and areas where we can and must improve – he comments Federico CavalloHead of External Relations of Altroconsumo – It is not just the responsibility of individuals: many citizens, for example, complain of the difficulty in distinguishing truly green products and services from those that are not, but they say they are. Unfortunately, alongside companies truly committed to reducing their environmental impact, there are still companies for which sustainability is only a marketing opportunity, for which they use ecological images and messages that have no basis, just to meet the desire. of the public to choose environmentally friendly products “.
For this, he adds, “information is essential to distinguish truly green products and services from those that are not and Altroconsumo, whenever possible, includes environmental impact analysis in product tests. Like Altroconsumo, with this international analysis shared with 13 other organizations, we want to make an important contribution to the analysis and understanding of the situation; at the same time we want to put an additional tool at the service of people: a way to understand where and how to commit ourselves all to ensure that all of our behaviors have an impact in improving our lives and the environment, helping to guide in a the choices of institutions and the market are also virtuous “.