Research Reveals Technology and Digitalization Are Key to Leading a Sustainable Lifestyle to More Than Two-Thirds of Consumers

Sep 8, 2023 9:00 AM ET
Campaign: Sustainability
  • More than half of online shoppers use digital marketplaces dedicated to sustainable products, especially from Asian emerging markets
  • One third of the respondents desire an app to get informed of sustainable lifestyles

HANGZHOU, China, September 8, 2023 /3BL/ - More than two-third (71%) of consumers think technology and digitalization are key to enabling them to live a more sustainable lifestyle, while over a third (33%) desire apps to provide clearer information on how to live sustainably across various aspects of life, according to an independent research report commissioned by Alibaba Group.

The research titled "The Sustainability Trends Report 2023" polled more than 14,000 consumers from 14 markets across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. More than seven in ten surveyed consumers (71%) regard digitalization as a key enabler to adopt sustainable lifestyles with top believers from emerging Asian markets, including Indonesia (90%), Philippines (87%) and Thailand (85%).

It also finds that around two in three consumers (63%) are already engaging with digital services that help them make more sustainable choices. Engagement level is higher in Asian markets (72%) compared to Europe (44%), with the top three from Indonesia (86%), Thailand (83%) and Malaysia (82%).

“Digital technology is a valuable tool for individuals and organizations to engage in actionable sustainability. By providing more information to consumers and boosting consumer engagement with greener lifestyle choices, companies can help drive consumers to embrace sustainability,” said Liu Wei, Alibaba Group ESG Strategy Lead.

“Alibaba Group has vowed to slash 1.5 gigatons of carbon emissions across its digital ecosystem by 2035. To achieve this ambitious goal, it has joined forces with its customers and ecosystem partners to harness the power of digital technology and thus enables sustainable digital lifestyles,” he added.

Over half of the online shoppers use a digital marketplace dedicated to sustainable products, especially with consumers from Asian emerging markets 

There’s an opportunity for businesses to encourage consumers to become more sustainable when shopping online by tackling the major barriers. Nearly half (48%) of the respondents cite lack of information on how products are sustainable as the major factor that prevents them from being more sustainable when shopping online, while 27% say it’s due to the time involved in researching sustainable products.

To cut down the research time, over half (57%) of online shoppers say they would use a digital marketplace dedicated to sustainable products, especially with consumers from Asian emerging markets (71%); with the Philippines (76%), Indonesia (73%) and Thailand (70%) leading the trend.

Among those who shop online, more than half (53%) say they prioritize buying sustainable products, especially among those who live in emerging Asian markets, including Thailand (84%), Indonesia (73%) and the Philippines (69%).

Consumers have mixed views when it comes to online shopping. Close to half (49%) of surveyed consumers consider online shopping to be more sustainable, with the highest proportion in the UAE (73%), Indonesia (69%) and Malaysia (66%). But this opinion is more split in Europe, with only 31% in the UK, 28% in Germany and 22% in France echoing the sentiment.

However, the environmental impact of online shopping is not a key influence when purchasing goods or services. Price (74%), product quality (64%), and quick delivery times (28%) are cited as the biggest influence when purchasing products or services online, with only 21% say environmental impact is the biggest influence.

A third of consumers want apps that provide information on how they can live more sustainably 

A third (33%) of consumers say they want apps that provide clear information on how they can live a more sustainable lifestyle, with the highest proportion in the Philippines (50%), Indonesia (46%) and the UAE (44%).

Close to half (47%) say they want digital services that would encourage consumers to use sustainable transport more often, for example, through apps that help determine and book available transport options.

More than two in five (42%) say they want a navigation app that shows more sustainable options, while 40% say they want apps to include helpful tips for fuel saving driving style, and 28% say there’s a need for convenient car-pooling options.

Alibaba’s navigation platform Amap provides low-carbon travel options, including walking, cycling and taking public transport such as bus and subways for users. As of March 31, 2023, it has covered 16 cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Chengdu, and Chongqing, driving more than 30 million users to practice low-carbon travel.

In FY2023, emissions reduced by low-carbon travel reached 0.215 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, according to Alibaba Group’s latest Environmental, Social and Governance Report.

About the Survey

"The Sustainability Trends Report 2023" was conducted by Yonder Consulting, a UK-based consulting firm, with advisory and analysis support by Hong Kong-based sustainability consultancy, The Purpose Business, between January 26 to February 14, 2023, based on feedback from 14,125 consumers to an online survey.

Respondents of the survey are located in fourteen markets across Asia, Europe and the Middle East including: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, U.K., Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Singapore and the UAE.

Asian developed markets referred in this research include Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, while Asian emerging markets refer to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

About Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a good company that lasts for 102 years.

Media Contacts

Morgan Lin

Alibaba Group

+852 6933 0425

Ivy Ke

Alibaba Group

+852 5590 9949

Please refer to for additional information about Alibaba’s sustainability efforts.