A study commissioned by technology company Alibaba Group revealed that 89% of consumers in the Philippines desire sustainable lifestyles but face obstacles such as inconvenience and high costs.

“The research finds around three in four consumers (76%) would welcome more information about how to be more sustainable, [and] the proportion is highest in the Philippines (93%), Indonesia (91%), and the United Arab Emirates (90%),” Alibaba said in a news release on Monday.

The study, titled “The Sustainability Trends Report 2023”, surveyed more than 14,000 consumers from 14 markets across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, according to the company.

It found that convenience (53%) and affordability (33%) are critical for driving behavioral changes in consumer sustainability, suggesting that businesses can help consumers make sustainably conscious choices.

According to the study, many consumers are cynical (38%) about the motives behind businesses’ “sustainable” products, and only 15% fully trust sustainability claims.

“As a digital platform company, Alibaba is uniquely positioned and committed to addressing the ‘say-do’ gap challenge; by reducing the inconvenience obstacle, adding more sustainable choices, and optimizing supply chains to keep costs reasonable for consumers,” said Liu Wei, Alibaba Group’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy lead.

“Sustainable consumption is crucial for the environment, and in the meantime it provides a great opportunity for businesses, as well as the digital economy as a whole, to have a long-lasting development into a sustainable future for all.”

Based on the study, more than half (58%) of consumers have already embraced sustainable practices and feel they are making significant efforts.

There is a general willingness (73% on average) to learn about sustainable online purchasing methods, indicating an openness to receive more information on the topic, the report noted. — Arjay L. Balinbin