Essity Survey Reveals USA Consumers' Increased Focus on Sustainability in a Post-pandemic World

Essity Survey Reveals USA Consumers' Increased Focus on Sustainability in a Post-pandemic World

An unexpected outcome of the pandemic: companies’ environmentally friendly practices influence purchasing and lifestyle decisions
Essity graph for environmentally friendly practices.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 9:00am

CAMPAIGN: Essity’s Commitment to Sustainability

CONTENT: Press Release

PHILADELPHIA, November 16, 2021 /3BL Media/ — Essity, a leading global hygiene and health company with more than 3,100 U.S. employees, which manufactures and sells the leading Tork and TENA brands, and other strong product brands such as JOBST and Leukoplast, announced today the results of its ‘Green Response’ research project, which focuses on sustainability and the impact COVID-19 has had on individuals’ behaviors toward living sustainably and making environmentally conscious decisions.

The survey was conducted on Essity’s behalf by Prime and United Minds with 10,000 respondents across 10 countries, including 1,000 U.S. respondents, between July 1-13, 2021.

The purpose of the multi-market survey was to understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on sustainability behaviors, and to identify what barriers are preventing people from living more sustainably. The survey’s key findings include:

Sustainable behaviors have increased

  • 40% of respondents said they have lived a more environmentally friendly lifestyle since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Respondents spend an average of 48 minutes each week doing something that benefits the environment.
  • Among those who have become more environmentally friendly, 84% said they will continue their enhanced ‘greener’ living once COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Ways respondents are leading more of an environmentally friendly lifestyle

  • 57% of respondents recycled more; 48% of respondents have driven/flown less; 46% of respondents reduced food waste; 41% of respondents cycled or walked more.
  • Females are more likely to have purchased products with environmentally friendly packaging than males (36% versus 27%).

Optimism about individual environmental action varies across generations

  • Younger respondents (aged 18-25) are more likely than older respondents (aged 41-60) to describe themselves as optimistic that the actions they take as an individual can have a positive impact on the environment and ultimately help slow down global warming. The younger group was comprised of 66% self-proclaimed optimists and 6% pessimists versus 55% and 12% in the older group.

Consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by a company’s or organization’s environmental practices

  • Approximately 41% of respondents said that an environmentally friendly endorsement, seal of approval or certification is important to them, and directly affects their purchase decision.
  • When asked how important environmentally friendly practices are for choosing to visit the following facilities, respondents said:
    • Healthcare facility – 59% find it somewhat or very important
    • Restaurants – 53% find it somewhat or very important
    • Retail outlet/store – 49% find it somewhat or very important
    • Hotels – 48% find it somewhat or very important
    • Theater – 44% find it somewhat or very important
    • Stadiums – 43% find it somewhat or very important
    • Museums – 43% find it somewhat or very important
    • Fitness Centers – 40% find it somewhat or very important
  • 40% said a company’s environmental practices affect their decision on whether to work for the company or not. An additional 21% said it was quite important but wouldn’t affect their decision.

“This data highlights two important themes - first, that an unexpected outcome of pandemic life is an increase in awareness of and participation in sustainable living,” said Amy Bellcourt, Vice President Communications, Professional Hygiene, Essity North America. “And second, these findings reinforce that it makes good business sense for hospitality, retail, tourist and healthcare facilities to ensure that they are engaging in sustainable practices, as their customers, guests and visitors are paying attention.”

“As a company that makes its hygiene products using sustainable practices, Essity is encouraged that consumers see the value in that commitment to the environment,” Bellcourt added.

Essity’s own sustainability commitments

Essity’s sustainable products, packaging, and operational and process innovations help shape a more sustainable future for the company, as well as the industries and customers they serve. Essity is a United Nations partner supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and has been included in a number of sustainability indexes and has received prestigious recognition, such as earning a coveted spot on Corporate Knights’ 2021 list of the 100 most sustainable companies in the world, and inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index for 2020 in the Household Products category. For more information, please visit:

About Essity

Essity is a leading global hygiene and health company. We are dedicated to improving well-being through our products and services. Sales are conducted in approximately 150 countries under the leading global brands TENA and Tork, and other strong brands, such as JOBST, Leukoplast, Libero, Libresse, Lotus, Nosotras, Saba, Tempo, Vinda and Zewa. Essity has about 46,000 employees. Net sales in 2020 amounted to approximately $13.3 billion. The company’s headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and Essity is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. Essity breaks barriers to well-being and contributes to a healthy, sustainable and circular society. Learn more at and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Philadelphia is Essity’s North American headquarters. In addition to Pennsylvania, Essity has U.S. operations in Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.  

CATEGORY: Environment